Seven Chinese nationals were arrested in three separate cases including driving a police car in Preah Sihanouk province and in Siem Reap’s Angkor Park, where arrests were made for drilling into stone and urinating on a wall.
Sihanoukville police on Tuesday held two Chinese nationals Huang Cheng, 32, and Chen Lu, 26, for driving a pickup with a “police number plate”. Social media users criticised the department for letting them drive the vehicle.
The Interior Ministry’s Department of Fire, Police and Rescue downplayed the accusation, saying the men were from Golden Eagle, a private company which signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ministry to install security systems at factories across the Kingdom to prevent fire, according to Neth Vatha, head of the police department.
He explained that the men were on a trip with a police officer to check an installed fire prevention system on Tuesday.
While the officer was busy, he added, the car was left at the Golden Eagle office and one of the suspects drove it to a restaurant for lunch.
“Incidentally, as the Chinese did not have a meal to eat, he drove the car to have lunch and when traffic police saw that, they stopped them,” Vatha said.
He said the car was already brought back at the precinct and the men were lectured not to repeat the mistake.
“There was no crime,” Vantha continued.
Separately, the heritage protection police at Angkor Park arrested four Chinese men when they were found drilling into a stone in front of Angkor Wat temple without proper permission early this week, said Long Kosal, Apsara Authority’s spokesman.
“We saw them drilling and reported to the heritage protection police, who caught them immediately,” he said.
He said the men did not have any intentions to destroy the stone and that they were unaware the site is under protection.
“It is a technical and unintentional error,” he said and that police are taking legal action against them. Kosal referred further questions to the police.
Keat Bun Than, chief of the heritage protection police, said the men are researchers, who work with the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.
Kim Bunna, provincial director of the Public Works and Transportation Department, could not be reached for comment.
A 62-year-old Chinese tourist was arrested on Tuesday for urinating on the wall of a temple in the Angkor complex.
According to a Facebook post on the page of the Heritage Protection Police Department, cops lectured the man and made him sign a contract saying he wouldn’t repeat the act, before releasing him.