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Gold merchant hit by robbers

A jewellery vendor at Kandal province’s Neak Loeung Market was robbed at gunpoint of nearly $20,000 in gold and cash on her way home from work in Loeuk Dek district Monday, police said.

Sem Sarin, Loeuk Dek district deputy police chief, said that the victim, Chheng Mao, 52, told police that she had collected her wares and the day’s earnings and was riding home from the market when a motorbike carrying two armed masked men veered in front of her. The men brandished a pistol at the driver and ordered him to stop.

The motorbike’s driver, Vorn Sophat, jumped off the bike and called for help from nearby villagers, but the two men had already taken what they came for and made off with Mao’s bag.

“The bag contained about 10 damlung of gold and cash,” Sarin said, adding that Mao had been carrying about $4,500 in riel and dollars.

The gold’s value is just over $14,000 dollars.

Sarin said that the victim’s and witnesses’ statements have led police to believe that the robbers may be linked to robberies in other provinces.

“However, until now the authorities have not yet captured those armed robbers,” he said, noting that the case is still under investigation.

There have been multiple high profile armed robberies in Cambodia in recent months. In March, six men wielding AK-47s stormed a gold shop in Kampong Thom and made off with more than $250,000 in gold and cash; two were later arrested. Earlier this month, three men armed with an AK-47 and two pistols made off with $65,000 in cash and jewellery when they invaded the home of a Siem Reap gold seller.

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