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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phones cut by police power thief

Phones cut by police power thief

A policeman-turned-electricity robber is being blamed for knocking out scores of

telephone lines in central Phnom Penh.

About $15,000 worth of damage was

caused when the man tried to use a metal cable supporting a telephone trunk line

to transfer electricity stolen from the Malaysian Embassy on Dec 31.

Some

420 telephone lines - including those at the Malaysian, Australian and United

States embassies and businesses and hotels - were put out of an action for up to

five days.

Noun Som Iy, a police guard at Chamkamorn House, King Norodom

Sohanouk's former residence now used for state functions, was allegedly behind

the failed electricity theft.

Long Vanhourn, the Phnom Penh Telephone

Operation Department's chief, complained it was not the first time Som Iy had

attached illegal lines to buildings' electricity supplies.

"We have

written many letters to the Phnom Penh police and the mayors to charge for

illegally-used electricity, but they did nothing."

The direct approach to

Som Iy had not worked either.

"It is difficult to talk to him because he

uses his gun to threaten our staff if we disconnect his lines."

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