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Travelling cop bounced from post after robbery

A district police chief in Battambang was scolded, suspended and then transferred by his provincial superiors for being away from his post on Wednesday night, when five gun-totting thieves broke into a local home, fatally shot one man and injured three more.

Deputy provincial police chief San Hak said Phan Vannara, Kamrieng district’s police chief, was being questioned yesterday at Battambang provincial police station over his handling of the case in O’Daleur village. “We are interviewing him,” Hak said.

“He was not at his location when the robbery happened and, afterwards, did not know it had occurred, this is the reason he’s suspended from his work in Kamrieng district,” Hak said. Reached yesterday, Channara declined to comment.

Channara’s former deputy, Chhor Keun, who yesterday became an acting district police chief, defended his boss, who he said was in Poipet on Wednesday. “We regret he’s been suspended from his work, and I told the provincial station that it’s not all his fault, we can’t predict a robbery,” Keun said.

Keun said Channara had raced back after being told of the incident but did not arrive quickly enough.

“When he arrived at the scene a few hours later, he was a bit later than provincial deputy police chief Chet Vanny, who did not see my district police chief,” he said, saying this angered provincial police chief Sar Thet, who could not be reached yesterday.

Speaking yesterday, Vanny, the deputy provincial chief, said Channara would now work at the provincial station so they can “supervise him”.

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