A man suspected of robbing and shooting two foreign nationals late last month was shot four times on Monday night during a shootout with police before being taken into custody. Police also apprehended a second, uninjured suspect after the shootout.
Chea Sovann, 32, and Sa Ravan, 25, stand accused of the armed robberies of a Japanese woman and an American man on September 27 and 28, respectively. In both instances, the victims were shot during the evening in relatively busy areas.
A weeklong sting operation led police to the pair, who were caught after allegedly stealing a Scoopy motorbike from two women driving near Olympic Market at about 9pm. They were pursued by police until they reached the Kbal Thnal overpass, where the suspects opened fire, Phnom Penh deputy police chief Choun Narin said.
“I traced this team for a week already, and we worked very carefully. Therefore, we were able to capture them,” Narin said.
Questioning of the men revealed that they had committed eight armed robberies in the past month alone, he said.
“The suspects have committed many crimes, but they used violence to rob things from women and they also shot the victims. The suspects stole wallets, purses and motorbikes from their victims,” Narin said.
Both Sovann and Ravan were armed with K54 and K59 pistols at the time of their arrest, and the bullets matched those fired at the Japanese and American tourists, he added.
“The arrests were based on the evidence.… The scientific examination of the bullets showed that they matched, and the suspects also admitted to the crimes,” he said.
Sovann, who was shot in the abdomen, is recuperating at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, while Ravan will be sent to court to be charged today.
Maurice Law, 57, who was shot in the groin and thigh on September 28 is still recovering at Calmette Hospital.