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Arrests announced in enormous gold heist

Arrests announced in enormous gold heist

Two men suspected of involvement in a massive gold heist at Kampong Thom province’s Stoung district market earlier this month were caught by police last Wednesday, provincial police chief Chou Sam An said yesterday.

Hong Sarom, 40, and Mean Ren, 47, are suspected of stealing more than $250,000 worth of cash and jewellery during an armed robbery on March 8 that witnesses said saw men wielding AK-47s raid five different market shops before fleeing into the jungle. No one was injured during the incident.

“They have been sent to be temporarily detained in the provincial jail on charges of a conspiracy to rob the gold vendors in Stoung Market,” Sam An said.

The announcement came just days after National Police chief Neth Savoeun warned officials to do a better job of fighting armed robbery or face consequences.

Police continue to search for the two other suspects. The robbers made off with more than 6 kilograms of gold and platinum, a motorcycle, and nearly $30,000 in cash.

Separately, Pursat provincial police chief Sarun Chanthy said yesterday that two of three men arrested on Saturday after another large-scale gold heist, this time at a market in Pursat’s Phnom Kravanh district, had confessed to the crime.

Sok Mao and Nhem Nhean, both 30, were arrested within hours of the robbery, which saw almost 5 kilos of gold and platinum stolen. Police are still seeking two other suspects.

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