P OLICE say they have captured a gang of rogue soldiers responsible for most
motorcycle and car robberies in Phnom Penh.
A mixed operations squad of
police and military police surrounded the 21-strong-gang's urban slum hide-out
near the gun market in Phnom Penh on July 10. After a short gunfight where a
ring-leader of the bandits was killed the gang surrendered.
of the Phnom Penh Criminal Suppression Unit, in an interview with Post , said:
"Since the demolition of this gang of robbers motorcycle and car robberies have
come down by 70-80 percent in Phnom Penh."
During the operation, police
confiscated seven motorcycles, three K59s, a P08, a carbine, two hand grenades,
military clothes and motorcycle parts.
In describing the operation Major
Song said three bandits armed with a K59 handgun riding on a fast JR motorcycle
stole an Econo c70 motorcycle at gunpoint at 11 am on July 10 behind the
Ministry of Tourism on Street 107 in Sangkat Beong Pralit, Phnom Penh.
"The Khan Seven Makara police caught sight of the event and intervened
by shooting and wounding one of the criminals.
"The wounded robber
crawled onto his JR motorcycle and escaped safely with one of the bandits while
the other thief rode off on the stolen motorcycle.
"A patrol force of
the crime suppression unit were notified of the incident and saw a jittery
suspect speeding towards Tuk Thlar village, Russeikeo district, Phnom Penh.
"They followed the suspect and discovered the gangs' headquarters. The
patrol force immediately informed head office who promptly prepared a 50 strong
force to conduct a round-up operation.
Major Song said: "At noon the
coalition force surrounded the ring-leader's house when the gang were eating and
drinking to celebrate their success over the robberies.
fired at the police with an aim to escape but the mixed force, employing their
right to self defense, fired back and killed one of the ring-leaders Thea
"The gang then surrendered. Through the questioning of the 21
arrested offenders eight soldiers who have been directly involved in robbery
were sent to the military court for trial, five were sent back to their military
units and eight others were cautioned and freed."