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Fake outfits, real time

Two men were sentenced to three years in prison yesterday by Phnom Penh Municipal Court for impersonating a police officer by donning a National Police uniform, complete with a plastic pistol and fake number plate.

Judge Y Thavareak said that 32-year-old security guard Touch Ravuth, also known as Sok Sovann Piseth, or Baraing, and 25-year-old Sroeng Sopheap were found guilty of impersonating a police officer and using a phony number plate.

“The court decided to sentence them to three years in prison each and fine them 5 million riel [$1,250],” Thavareak said, adding that the men have the right to appeal the verdict within 30 days.

Lieutenant Colonel Mak Hong, chief of the Sen Sok district police, said the duo was arrested shortly after midnight on January 4 while police were on patrol in Toek Thla commune and spotted Ravuth wearing the uniform. Another suspect, identified as “Ly”, escaped the scene.

“After stopping, checking and asking him, we knew he was a fake policeman,” Hong said.

According to Hong, when police checked Ravuth’s home the following day, they discovered military garb and equipment.

Ravuth and Sopheap could not be reached for comment yesterday. However, during a hearing last week, Ravuth defended his actions.

“I wore the National Police uniform for taking photos with my friend at his birthday party,” he said.

Sopheap denied all charges.

“I did not wear a police uniform or carry a plastic gun,” he said, adding that he was hitching a ride from the party to his house.

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