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Four questioned over Buddhist relics theft

Four questioned over Buddhist relics theft

Four youths are being questioned by police in connection with the robbery of several Buddhist relics stolen from Wat Ounalom on Tuesday.

Three young men were questioned by the Ministry of Interior’s central justice police department on Wednesday, said Sia Pheara, secretary of the pagoda, a popular tourist site near Phnom Penh’s riverside.

A fourth man was questioned yesterday.

“Among the four youths, one is my student,” Pheara said.

Monks at Wat Ounalom noticed the missing relics – which included five gold-plated Buddha statues, a copper urn and two elephant tusks – at about 3am on Tuesday.

Mok Chito, director of the central justice police department, yesterday said that interrogations of the four youths were not complete.

“We need more time to work on this case,” he said.

The burglary occurred about three months after an urn said to contain remnants of the Buddha was stolen from Oudong Mountain.

In that case, Keo Reaksmey, 24, was charged with the robbery. A 39-year-old woman was also charged with buying gold melted down from stolen statues.

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