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Fake general charged over home robberies

Fake general charged over home robberies

A timber trader who once posed as a one-star general was charged with armed robbery yesterday, eight years after allegedly raiding villagers’ properties in Kampong Speu province.

Keo Em, 47, was arrested by provincial police in Takeo province on Monday, based on a warrant issued in 2011, according to Colonel Sam Samuon, deputy chief of Kampong Speu police.

The suspect had been on the run since allegedly robbing villagers’ properties in Kong Pisey district on April 7, 2007, said Captain Suon Sopheak, a penal police officer with the provincial police.

After being identified by police, Em fled to Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district where he paid for a military officer’s name and rank from Major Khieu Vuthy, an artillery trainer, Sopheak said.

Em became a brigadier general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and worked for Anlong Veng’s Artillery Unit until 2011 when his cover was blown.

Evading capture once more, Em then began trading luxury wood in Preah Vihear province before being captured on Monday, Sopheak said.

Colonel Samuon, who is also head of crime, terrorism and security affairs in Kampong Speu, said Em was charged with armed robbery.

“The investigative judge now has sent him to be temporarily jailed in prison,” Samuon said.

Keo Em and his lawyer could not be reached yesterday.

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