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Ex-sailor’s AK-47 theft appeal heard

Ex-sailor’s AK-47 theft appeal heard

A military court yesterday heard the appeal of a Royal Cambodian Navy sailor convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of rifles later used in a string of robberies.

In August 2011, Vang Lay, now 25, was arrested for helping five of his friends steal three AK-47 rifles from a warehouse at Military Unit 8 in Preah Sihanouk. The men used the rifles in 15 robberies in Kampot province, some of them deadly.

Lay was sentenced to two years in prison and fined two million riel ($500) in March of last year.

At the hearing, the presiding judge pointed out that Lay previously admitted that, while drinking with the men, he told them where to find the warehouse in which the rifles were stored, but did not help them steal them.

Lay said in court that he made his confession under duress, for fear of being beaten by military police. He denied any involvement.

The verdict will be handed down on August 5.

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