Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Misused guns will be traced: top military cop

Misused guns will be traced: top military cop

A four-wheel drive with RCAF number plates travels through the streets of Phnom Penh yesterday. Sao Sokha yesterday called for renewed efforts in cracking down on military number plates.
A four-wheel drive with RCAF number plates travels through the streets of Phnom Penh yesterday. Sao Sokha yesterday called for renewed efforts in cracking down on military number plates.

Misused guns will be traced: top military cop

Amid an ongoing spate of gun crime nationwide, military police commander Sao Sokha has threatened that officials who sign off on weapons for subordinates will face jail time if those firearms are subsequently involved in illegal activities.

Addressing senior military officials in Phnom Penh on Monday, Sokha took aim at those requesting weapons for security force members not on official assignments.

“I want to ask you to use the legal measures regarding the use of weapons,” he said. “If we can’t control weapons, we can’t control insecurity and then insecurity will take place,” he added.

Sokha went on to threaten to investigate and prosecute any officials who signed out weapons later involved in crime.

Earlier this month, Interior Minister Sar Kheng had pointed a finger at a “loosening” of gun control, while Thun Samorn, director of the ministry’s department of weapons, admitted some ministers had as many as three guns, the purpose of which the ministry could not explain.

San Chey, of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, said that much stricter reforms were needed to prevent off-duty incidents involving members of the armed services.

“We have seen there are still armed forces using weapons to shoot innocent people,” he said. “They can use their connection to power to shoot people freely.”

Sokha’s Monday directive came on the heels of recent comments he made on another abuse of power that’s made headlines in the past year: the illegal use of RCAF licence plates.

At a meeting last week, Sokha called on security officials to be tougher on forged plates he said were all too common, saying they should impound the vehicles, which would then be claimed as state property.

A driver for a foreign businessman in Phnom Penh, whose vehicle sported a RCAF number plate, yesterday told a Post reporter that despite neither he nor his boss being a member of RCAF, his plate was legit.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he claimed he had purchased it from a source at the Defence Ministry.

“In our country, when police see we drive a car with RCAF licence plates, they show respect and do not want to get tough,” he said.

Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said he had not heard of any cases of non-military personnel purchasing plates from the Defence Ministry and reiterated Sokha’s stance that cars bearing RCAF plates would be checked to determined if they were fake.

MOST VIEWED

  • South Korea’s first lady brings hope to ill boy

    South Korea’s first lady Kim Keon-hee – wife of current president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol – met with a 14-year-boy with congenital heart disease during her trip to the Kingdom for the ASEAN Summit. After their meeting it was announced that the

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol