Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Five convicts on lam after R’kiri jailbreak

Five convicts on lam after R’kiri jailbreak

Five convicts on lam after R’kiri jailbreak

Five inmates awaiting trial in Ratanakkiri province for crimes ranging from robbery to murder remained on the loose yesterday evening after an early-morning prison break.

During an interrogation of the one escapee caught by prison officials, authorities were told the six men hid two pieces of jagged steel in their shoes, slowly filing down the bars to their cell over the course of an undetermined number of nights, said provincial deputy prosecutor Ros Saram.

“They used a sawlike piece of metal to grind the bars little by little between the hours of 10pm and 3am,” Saram said. The six worked and slept in shifts and took turns hiding the pieces in their shoes, he added.

Escaped prisoners still on the lam include Nov Sokna, 48, charged with murder; Vann Vichet, charged with sexual assault of a minor; Kim Boran, charged with drug trafficking; and Phern Ton and Hum Khau, each charged with robbery, Saram said.

Phai Vet, who is charged with sexual assault, escaped with the other five, but guards caught and re-arrested him, Saram added. Penalties for breaking out of prison range from an additional year to a life sentence.

A jailbreak in Battambang last year sparked a Ministry of Interior investigation into possible staff complicity. In that case, five inmates – three of whom were serving time for murder – broke out of Battambang’s provincial prison after staff there moved them to a low-security room reserved for the sick.

Earlier that year, a convict escaped a hospital unit in Preah Sihanouk Provincial Prison, sneaking by two guards as they slept.

“It shows that the prison guards are careless,” Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said of yesterday’s escape. “Most of the escaped inmates were on trial for serious crimes; the jailbreak could cause panic and fear among nearby residents.”

Adhoc will investigate the escape, Thy said.

Non Ngen, Ratanakkiri’s provincial prison chief, could not reach for comment yesterday.

Police are still searching for the prisoners, said Pen Dyna, a Ratanakkiri deputy provincial police chief.


  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Huge timber haul seized in Kratie raid, suspects sought

    Kratie provincial authorities were searching on Wednesday for the owners of hundreds of cubic metres of first-grade timber found loaded onto seven heavy trucks during a raid on a warehouse in Snuol district. After getting a tip-off, Military Police, police, Forestry Administration and court officials