IMAD Zeki likes Cambodia and its people so much he was thinking of setting up a factory
here. But not anymore - not since he was held and robbed at gun point in his Phnom
Penh hotel room.
Now the German-Lebanese businessman will keep his manufacturing firm in Thailand,
where he will continue to employ Thai workers and contribute to that country's economy.
" Security is no good here. I can understand being robbed on the street, but
in my hotel room? On the second floor?" he asked incredulously.
On a recent visit, Zeki took a room at the Rasmei Phkar Chhouk Tep hotel on Monireth
St. After visiting friends he returned to the hotel in the early morning of May 15.
As he reached the second floor landing one of two men pulled a gun on him but he
scurried into his room and locked the door. About half an hour later he cautiously
opened the door. The men had gone so he hurried to the front desk to report the incident.
"The guy at reception said he thought it was two guys from room 210, but he
didn't want to do anything about it, " Zeki said. "He told me to go back
to my room and lock the door."
At about 8 o'clock in the morning, after a fitful sleep, Zeki heard a knock on the
door. "I was tired and a bit confused so I opened the door and the same two
guys were standing there pointing guns at me.
"I tried to close the door, but they forced their way in telling me to sit down
and demanding money. I didn't know what was going on. I thought they wanted to kidnap
or rob me or even kill me," Zeki said.
According to Zeki, the men forced him to sit on the bed while one went through the
room and his bags, all the time demanding money.
"At first they were very nervous, shouting. But after a while they calmed down
a bit. I couldn't believe this was happening to me, I've only seen stuff like this
in the movies. And I had told hotel reception earlier in the morning that these people
had pointed a gun at me, but nobody did anything."
The men stole 500 baht, a watch and a radio before leaving, telling him to keep quiet.
Zeki went back to reception and asked to call the police.
"The people at reception just laughed and the police never showed up. Later
I went to the police station but nobody was there. I waited for more than an hour
but nobody came.
"I didn't bother after that because this type of thing happened to me before,"
he said referring to a previous trip when a motorcycle he had hired was stolen from
the compound of another hotel.
On that occasion, according to Zeki, he had to pay $600 to the motorcycle company
so he could get his passport back which was being held as collateral.