Three Banteay Meanchey gold vendors accused of buying stolen goods were arrested yesterday then released four hours later after about 200 fellow gold sellers demonstrated on their behalf outside Mongkol Borei district police headquarters.
The district governor personally intervened and mediated the release, district police chief Yorth Sophal said.
Sophal said the three were accused of buying stolen gold and jewellery from 22-year-old robbery suspect Chhan Yuong.
Chhan Yuong, who was arrested on May 18, confessed that he robbed 9 chi (33.75 grams) of gold and some jewellery from a shop in Serei Sophon Market in early May, then sold it to vendors Yeang Touch, San Lucky and Srey Touch, police said.
Immediately after the arrest at about 2:00pm, vendors from Mongkol Borei Market and Banteay Neang Market assembled outside police headquarters.
A gold vendor at Mongkol Borei Market, who asked not to be named, said the three vendors were innocent.
“They were not aware that the gold and jewellery they bought from the sellers were stolen from other people. So they have not committed anything wrong,” he said.
The vendors were set free at about 6:30pm, Yorth Sophal said, after the district governor intervened and the provincial prosecutor dropped the charge against them.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at firstname.lastname@example.org