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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two charged for taking bets on World Cup; PM lauds Rooney

Two charged for taking bets on World Cup; PM lauds Rooney

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday charged a 57-year-old man and his 16-year-old son in connection with a World Cup betting ring they were allegedly operating out of their home in Sen Sok district, a deputy prosecutor said.

Koeur Bunnara said he had issued the arrest warrant for Long Sophanara and his son, Chheang Bunhak, and that a raid of their home in Toek Thla commune had been carried out on Monday.

He added that local authorities had been informed of the gambling ring by neighbours.

Mak Hong, the police chief in Sen Sok district, said the pair had acted as brokers in the ring.

Under the penal code, anyone caught running a gambling ring faces between one and five years in prison along with potential fines.

“Our police will carry out further investigations to find who is profiting from football match betting,” Mak Hong said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth could not be reached for comment on Thursday, but he said last week that both Cambodians and foreigners would be arrested if caught betting on football matches during the World Cup.

“Both Cambodian people and foreigners have to respect the laws of the Kingdom, and I will not allow the opening of places for football betting,” he said.

In February last year, Prime Minister Hun Sen abruptly ordered the closure of the country’s sports betting outlets and slot-machine parlours, saying they had been responsible for a moral decline in the Kingdom.

Hun Sen issued warnings similar to Touch Naruth’s in the run-up to the World Cup.

In a speech on Thursday marking the inauguration of Cambodia’s first overpass, the premier told the audience that he was using his mobile phone to follow matches.

He also had some kind words for the English squad, especially striker Wayne Rooney.

After congratulating UK ambassador Andrew Mace on the fact that England has made it into the round of 16, he said: “I also want to send this message through the ambassador that I admire Wayne Rooney. I admire him for his kick technique.”

He added: “I wish that England will pass through to the last group of eight.”

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