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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Heisted cigarette cartons get jail time for expat duo

Heisted cigarette cartons get jail time for expat duo

A Dutchman and an American were each sentenced to one year in prison yesterday for the theft of 17 cartons of cigarettes from Paragon Supermarket in Daun Penh district in March.

Kim Rath Narin, Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge, said that Johan Becker, 59, a Dutch tourist, and Jeffery Alan Adams, 51, an American tourist, were convicted and ordered to jointly pay $1,963 in damages to the plaintiff and another $1,000 in compensation.

“They will be deported from Cambodia as soon as they have served out their sentences,” Narin said.

On March 7, 2014, according to Chhun Kaony, deputy police chief of Chey Chumneas commune, where the market is located, Becker stole a variety of cigarette brands: 49 packs of Mild Sevens, 41 packs of Marlboros, and some Cambodian Angkor cigarettes, among others. Becker loaded the stolen goods into some bags, which he then gave to his friend Adams who walked behind him as they attempted to escape the market.

However, a female staffer spotted the theft and called security, and Becker was arrested on the spot. Adams fled the scene, managing to escape on his getaway vehicle, a motorcycle. He was arrested the next morning in his rented apartment in Phsar Kandal I commune.

Video evidence from the supermarket indicated that the pair had previously stolen cigarettes from Paragon many times over a two-month period in between February and March 2014.

Becker said he accepted the court’s decision yesterday. Adams declined to comment.

“I will not appeal it to the upper court,” Becker said.

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