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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Monk arrested after British tourist raped and robbed

Monk arrested after British tourist raped and robbed

A 39-year-old British backpacker is alleged to have been raped and

robbed by a 17-year-old monk at a resort in Battambang province

BATTAMBANG provincial police have detained a Cambodian monk accused of raping a female British backpacker at a resort near Phnom Sampov mountain.

Bun Sambo, police chief of Banan district, said that on Tuesday the alleged victim accused Than Sophoan, 17, of raping her on her visit to the area.

Bun Sambo added that on Wednesday, Than Sophoan was arrested after being defrocked and escorted into provincial police custody for further questioning.

Monk confesses

"He confessed that he raped and robbed her," Bun Sambo told the Post Wednesday. "We took the victim to the provincial hospital for an examination and they confirmed that she [showed signs of sexual assault]."

He said that the woman reported to the police that her cash, camera, mobile phone, passport and credit cards were stolen. The police have since recovered many of her belongings from the monk's lodgings, but her mobile phone and 1,500 baht have disappeared.

"We have returned the remaining properties back to her, and the suspect was charged with rape and robbery," he said.

Hun Sam Ath, chief of the tourism police officer in Battambang province, said that the police are collecting evidence before they send the suspect to court.

Tan Saroeung, the director of the tourism department in Battambang, said that the woman arrived at Battambang on Monday as a private tourist and traveled that day to Phnom Sampov mountain.

"We are really sorry about what occurred. Such a case has never happened before, and we do not want to see this case again," Tan Saroeung told the Post on Wednesday.  "It will affect the number of tourists."

On Saturday, police in Kampong Speu's Baseth district arrested a monk as well as an ex-monk for raping two teenage girls in school rooms near the monk's pagoda.



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