Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Eight arrested for buried treasure scheme

Eight arrested for buried treasure scheme

Eight arrested for buried treasure scheme

Two Cambodians and six Vietnamese were arrested on Saturday after attempting to dig up a buried box of gold near Battambang Provincial Hall, some three decades after its alleged owner claimed to have left it while stationed in Cambodia.

According to a police report, the Cambodians were identified as Lim Hok Hai, 36, and Meas Sopheap, 55. The six Vietnamese were identified as Rok Hoy, 57, Kou Sonam, 33, Vieng Chin Hok, 22, Rieng Van Ngieng, 24, Troeng Van Vy, 37, and Vieng Thidan, 40.

Hoy, a former soldier, told police he had buried the box near the lion statue in Battambang when posted as a soldier in Cambodia in the 1980s, following the fall of the Khmer Rouge. He said he hired the Cambodians to drive them frp, the Vietnamese border in order to dig up the long lost treasure.

Mean Lai, Battambang penal police chief, said when police saw the accused digging near the statue on Saturday, they tried to arrest them but failed when the Vietnamese hopped in their getaway car driven by Hok Hai and Sopheap.

“They were digging illegally to steal state treasure,” Lai said, adding that police were waiting for a court warrant before continuing where the group left off.

The police called for back-up and roadblocks, eventually arresting the eight in Mong Russey district.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the