An ongoing spate of violent crimes across the Kingdom continued on Wednesday evening as three separate armed robberies occurred within less than 24 hours of each other in Phnom Penh, Kampot and Kampong Speu provinces.
On Wednesday evening, three robbers armed with AK-47s invaded the house of Tuy Chheng Him in Kampot’s Tuol village. They tied the 59-year-old to a pillar inside the house, kneed him and threatened to shoot his wife and children if he screamed, according to Chhouk district police chief Huon Sivutha. The robbers took a motorbike, a smartphone and $50 cash before successfully fleeing, he said.
That same night in Kampong Speu, Sim Vorn, 35, was robbed by two home invaders who threatened her with a knife before strangling her as she was eating dinner in the province’s Sen Dei commune. Though Vorn survived the attack, she lost $300 to the unknown criminals, according to commune police chief Men Nun.
In Phnom Penh, as the clock ticked over to the wee hours of Thursday morning, six armed bandits riding three motorbikes nabbed a fourth motorbike off two men riding home from dinner near the Preah Sisowath high school in Daun Penh district. One victim was struck by one of the thieves.
“Police are now investigating this case to bring those suspects to justice,” said commune police chief Kol Khannara. No arrests have yet been made in any of the cases.
The apparent crime wave has drawn the ire of Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose criticism of Cambodia’s frequent pardoning of criminals in December resulted in a ban on pardons for serious offenders three weeks later by the Ministry of Justice and has upped pressure on local authorities nationwide.