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Fake cops wind up in handcuffs

Seven people were arrested during the Water Festival for disguising themselves as police and tax collectors and tricking vendors into paying them extra fees for street space, Daun Penh District Governor Kuoch Chamroeun said yesterday.

“They were opportunistic people who have disguised themselves as authorities,” he said during a press conference at district police headquarters. “They wore police, military police and tax collectors’ uniforms and carried fake IDs. They walked around collecting money.”

Chamroeun said the alleged imposters were all caught in the act. While their scamming did not prove that lucrative – police seized only about $250 in total from the seven men – the incidents had “seriously affected the reputation of our authorities”, he added.

“Their activities have caused confusion among the public,” he said.

Five others were arrested during the festival, which ended last night, for robbing people of their necklaces and mobile phones.

As of yesterday afternoon, though, police had dealt with significantly less crime than during previous Water Festivals, Chamrouen said.

“We do not have a report on the exact number of crimes yet, but according to our observations, crime has decreased compared with other festivals. Security and public order has also been better,” he said.

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