Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Army robbery gang smashed

Army robbery gang smashed

Army robbery gang smashed

P OLICE say they have captured a gang of rogue soldiers responsible for most

motorcycle and car robberies in Phnom Penh.

A mixed operations squad of

police and military police surrounded the 21-strong-gang's urban slum hide-out

near the gun market in Phnom Penh on July 10. After a short gunfight where a

ring-leader of the bandits was killed the gang surrendered.

Major Song

of the Phnom Penh Criminal Suppression Unit, in an interview with Post , said:

"Since the demolition of this gang of robbers motorcycle and car robberies have

come down by 70-80 percent in Phnom Penh."

During the operation, police

confiscated seven motorcycles, three K59s, a P08, a carbine, two hand grenades,

military clothes and motorcycle parts.

In describing the operation Major

Song said three bandits armed with a K59 handgun riding on a fast JR motorcycle

stole an Econo c70 motorcycle at gunpoint at 11 am on July 10 behind the

Ministry of Tourism on Street 107 in Sangkat Beong Pralit, Phnom Penh.

"The Khan Seven Makara police caught sight of the event and intervened

by shooting and wounding one of the criminals.

"The wounded robber

crawled onto his JR motorcycle and escaped safely with one of the bandits while

the other thief rode off on the stolen motorcycle.

"A patrol force of

the crime suppression unit were notified of the incident and saw a jittery

suspect speeding towards Tuk Thlar village, Russeikeo district, Phnom Penh.

"They followed the suspect and discovered the gangs' headquarters. The

patrol force immediately informed head office who promptly prepared a 50 strong

force to conduct a round-up operation.

Major Song said: "At noon the

coalition force surrounded the ring-leader's house when the gang were eating and

drinking to celebrate their success over the robberies.

"Some robbers

fired at the police with an aim to escape but the mixed force, employing their

right to self defense, fired back and killed one of the ring-leaders Thea

Toch.

"The gang then surrendered. Through the questioning of the 21

arrested offenders eight soldiers who have been directly involved in robbery

were sent to the military court for trial, five were sent back to their military

units and eight others were cautioned and freed."

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