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Thirty-three-shot spree earns one-year jail stint

The Kampong Speu Provincial Court on Friday sentenced a man to one year in prison after he fired more than 30 shots into the air in a fit of rage over a traffic fine, a court official said yesterday.

Prosecutor Keo Thea said defendant Choeng Sinath, 41, a car dealer in Phnom Penh, was also fined 2 million riel (about $500) on charges of “using a weapon without authorisation”.

Colonel Som Bora, deputy chief of Kampong Speu provincial police, said Sinath was arrested by Phnom Penh Municipal Penal Police on March 10, and was transferred the next day to Kampong Speu, the province where the infraction had taken place.

According to Bora, on the morning of February 28, Sinath was speeding in his Mercedes on National Road 4 from Kampong Speu towards Phnom Penh near Chbar Mon town. He was stopped by provincial traffic police, and issued a fine of 12,000 riel (about $3).

“He got angry with traffic police over stopping his car and fining him 12,000 riels. He then took his gun from inside his car and fired 33 bullets in the air. After the shooting spree, he drove his car very fast again towards Phnom Penh and escaped,” Bora said.

“He was later arrested by Phnom Penh police, and was transferred to our provincial police,” he added.

Neither Sinath nor his defence lawyer could be reached for comment yesterday.

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