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Rogue soldier accused of gunpoint extortion

Police have arrested a rogue soldier who allegedly used an unregistered AK-47 to extort cash from people crossing Banhear O’ Bridge in Kampong Speu’s Oral district at an illegal checkpoint, said provincial deputy police chief Soam Bora.

According to Bora, suspect Hok Sophat, 36, was caught by officers on Monday, and was a soldier from the province’s Royal Cambodia Armed Forces Headquarters, whose home was in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.

According to villagers, Sophat was part of a group that often set up the phoney checkpoint and, at times, had fired their weapons to threaten drivers refusing to pay, but only Sophat was captured in Monday’s raid.

“The suspect’s rifle has no legal document or licence,” Bora said, adding Sophat had been preliminarily charged with setting up an illegal checkpoint and using an illegal weapon.

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