Battambang provincial criminal police have sent 16 people suspected of gambling on rainfall to the provincial court after arresting them over a three-day period in Battambang town’s O’Char and Ratanak communes.
Deputy provincial police chief Lim Puthyla confirmed on March 20 that his officers had built case files against the 16 men and referred them to court the previous day.
“[I] do not know what specific charges they will face from the prosecutor,” he said.
Provincial court spokesman Duong Savorn could not be reached for comment on March 20. The provincial police’s minor crimes bureau chief Chhoeung Kimsong said he was on a mission and could not comment.
A police officer from Battambang town spoke on condition of anonymity on March 20 that the crackdown on weather-related gambling was conducted by the minor crimes bureau in collaboration with the town police.
He added that gambling on rainfall had gone on for a long time in Battambang town, but the crackdowns on the gamblers did not seem to be very effective, though he was not sure why.
He said that before the crackdown on March 16, minor crimes bureau police received a report from residents that a group of gamblers were gathering at two locations to bet on the rainfall.
The bureau then cooperated with the town police and went to Prey Kon Sek village in O’Char commune and Romchek IV village in Ratanak commune where they arrested the 16 suspects and impounded four cars, eight motorcycles and three tuk-tuks. Six walkie-talkies and one piece of rain-measurement equipment were also seized.