Two men were arrested late yesterday afternoon following a morning robbery in Poipet town that saw the city’s jewellery shops shuttered in fear after one of their number lost more than $40,000 in cash and merchandise.
Soy Sophanna, the 35-year-old victim, was driving her motorbike from her house to her shop with her 11-year-old daughter when two men on a moto blocked her path, aimed a gun at her head and demanded her valuables.
“I was afraid that the robbers might shoot me and my daughter dead,” she said. “I stopped the motorbike, opened the seat, and took out the money and jewellery and handed it to them.”
The men then drove away with a haul north of $40,000. As news of the brazen robbery spread, vendors began closing their shops, fearing more crimes by the same suspects.
By 5:15pm Poipet municipal and military police on the case had managed to surround and arrest two suspects. However, authorities did not find the loot, according to Chea Da, the military police commander at Poipet Town.
In a separate incident in Sihanoukville on Tuesday, police arrested six people suspected of committing armed robberies in the capital. They were found hiding out in Akasya forest, near Phumi I village.
The suspects include two women and four men, all from Phnom Penh. Authorities also seized three motorbikes, one of which was stolen from a victim in the capital.
“Three of them admitted that they robbed twice – one time was in front of the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and another one was near Boeung Trabek,” said Hort Seyha, the Sihanoukville military police commander.