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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The last arrest

The last arrest

The last arrest

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arrest.jpg

The man who got him - Ta Mok's capturer Hin Sian

ANLONG VENG - For 22 years Colonel Hin Sian has fought against the Khmer Rouge.

Two weeks ago he was able to end that fight - he arrested Ta Mok.

The Anlong Veng Deputy Chief of Staff was on duty at 9am on March 6 when he got a

call from a border post saying they had apprehended five men, four of them armed,

the other an elderly man with one leg. They had just crossed over from Thailand.

A few minutes later the border post called back to say the old man was Ta Mok.

Sian said a flurry of calls soon followed between himself, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

Eventually, he said, he was told to drive up to the border, pick up Ta Mok, make

sure he was not killed, and deliver him back to Anlong Veng where a helicopter would

be there to pick him up.

According to Sian, Mok did not speak either at the border post or on the ride back.

During the journey, Mok was wedged between two soldiers, one of whom had a stun gun

pointed at him for the entire trip.

Sian said Mok did not seem concerned until he got to Anlong Veng and saw the helicopter.

At that point, "his face changed".

The veteran soldier said that it was not until he came face to face with Mok that

he believed the feared KR chief had really been caught, but at that point, he said,

he realized the situation was dangerous.

"When we found out it was Ta Mok we did not let anyone get near him because

we were concerned some soldiers would try and shoot him," he said.

"I was very very surprised that I was the one to arrest him because Ta Mok was

very strong and leaders are not arrested on the front line."

He said Ta Mok was searched, even down to his wooden leg - apparently a unique item.

"The leg was very strange. It was not strapped on, just held on by friction,"

he said.

"He had a small bag with a change of clothes and about 5000 baht."

The bodyguards were also carrying bags of clothes which, unlike their guns, were

returned to them after the helicopter left and they were released.

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