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Arrests after garment heist

Police in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district early yesterday morning arrested three suspected accomplices to four security guards accused of drugging their co-workers and making off with some 20,000 pairs of jeans from Roo Hsing Garment Co, authorities said.

Chan Hai, chief of Teuk La’ak III commune, said that the three suspects were arrested after allegedly selling the stolen jeans to buyers at Hengly Market, where police discovered thousands of kilograms of the high-end jeans.

“On that night, I asked the deputy commune chief to join in the inspection, and police seized six bags of jeans, with each bag of jeans weighing 400 kilograms,” he said. “The store’s owner was asked to be interrogated by the prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipal Court.”

A Tuol Kork district police official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the suspects – motodop Ku Koeurn, 49, and construction workers Keurn Chetra, 43, and Ther Sothy, 42 – were busted just as they were packing the jeans into the bags for other buyers.

The jeans were stolen in the wee hours of Saturday, when four security guards working for ESP Security Company allegedly spiked the coffees of six of their fellow guards, causing them to pass out. Two other guards on duty were also asleep at the time of the robbery, but had not been drugged.

Security camera footage showed the suspects using a truck to haul away the clothing, which reportedly had an estimated retail value of about $1 million.

According to the police official, the suspects thought to have carried out the heist have been identified as security guards Meas Sakun, 29, Seng Sokhorn, 20, Ong Rotha, 26, and Pen Long, 30.

Police have said that they will only take action against the security company that employed the suspects if it is unable to reach an agreement with the garment factory.

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