Cambodian court sentences Taiwanese YouTuber to jail for faking his kidnapping

Known as GoodNight Chicken, the influencer told his followers he was going to explore a ‘dark corner’ in Cambodia allegedly known for the abduction of foreigners

Stuti Mishra
Saturday 17 February 2024 13:26 GMT
Taiwanese influencers after they were arrested for streaming video of a fake kidnapping
Taiwanese influencers after they were arrested for streaming video of a fake kidnapping (AFP PHOTO/Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration)

A Taiwanese influencer who faked his abduction on social media has been sent to jail by Cambodian authorities for two years.

Chen Neng-chuan, 31, who creates videos about “paranormal activities” on social media, was arrested with his friend, Lu Tsu-hsien after the duo staged a forced abduction and escape on his Instagram live feed.

The influencer told his followers he was going to explore the “dark corner” in Cambodia, famous for notorious gangs kidnapping foreigners.

On live stream, the influencer who goes by the name GoodNight Chicken appeared to have been beaten up.

Later, Chen’s wife also posted on social media that her husband had gone missing.

(AFP PHOTO/Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration)

He subsequently resurfaced in a video, looking injured with part of his head shaved, where he claimed to have been kidnapped and narrated a story of his dramatic escape.

However, his story raised suspicion from online watchers.

Another influencer Liu Yu pointed out that Chen’s location didn’t match his claims.

Using the footage Chen had posted, Liu said he appeared to have circled an area instead of running away as he claimed.

He also raised doubts about why his captors would take thousands of US dollars he alleged they did, yet permitted him to retain his live streaming equipment.

Taiwanese police said Chen’s family did not file a police report, while the ministry of foreign affairs said it did not receive any request for help, according to The Straits Times.

Soon after the video caught the attention, the duo was arrested from their hotel rooms.

The Cambodian police presented them to the media in a briefing along with the props they used to film the sequence.

On Friday, the provincial court found them guilty on charges of “incitement to cause chaos to social security”.

The provincial government said the men produced videos with “fake content that affects the honour, order, and security” of the province.

They were both handed two-year sentences and ordered to pay a combined fine of around $2,000 (£1,590).

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