Kampong Speu provincial police have sent nine men to the provincial court after they were arrested on March 13 for attempting to rob a man in Beng village, Samrong Tong district’s Pneay commune armed with swords and meat cleavers.
Sam Sak, provincial deputy police chief in charge of serious crime, said on Sunday that the police were aware of the suspects prior to the arrests.
“We made the arrests and after completing questioning we sent them to court for further legal action,” he said.
However, he said the suspects, who are between 17 and 24 years old and from Samrong Tong district, did not confess.
Five of the nine had also tested positive for drugs, but police did not know whether they were drug users or involved in trafficking.
Sak said the victim, 23-year-old Seng Rotha, was driving his motorbike home from a wedding at Kampong Speu market on Friday.
“The suspects then appeared and chased him on motorbikes, surrounding Rotha, who then stopped riding, removed the key from his vehicle and fled on foot.
“A brief chase occurred as the suspects pursued him wielding swords, but they did not catch Rotha. They then returned to his bike and destroyed it,” he said.
Police immediately investigated the incident and made a series of arrests to round up the group. “We proceeded to make arrests and seize motorbikes used to commit the crime. We have seized four motorbikes, two swords, and three cleavers,” he said.
He said this is the third group from a larger gang that was arrested in December.
The larger group had 12 members, six of whom were arrested in connection with several separate incidents of criminal activities. The nine men, he said, were also part of this larger gang.
Samrong Tong district police chief Khuth Sophal said the victim was not injured. As he fled from the assailants, he shouted for help and a local villager called the police.