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Shoot-out over gun-running

Shoot-out over gun-running

T WO Cambodians were shot dead in a gunfight with police, and two Hong Kong Chinese

men arrested, as Ministry of Interior troops claimed to have smashed a gun-smuggling

ring Oct 20.

Dozens of shots were fired in the shoot-out, which occured when police ambushed members

of a gang suspected of being involved in the shipping of weapons to ganglords in

Macau island, off Hong Kong.

"The gang... started firing," said Ministry of Interior anti-drug department

head Heng Peo of the shoot-out near the French Embassy at the northern end of Monivong

Bld. "We had no option but to fire as these criminals refused to put down their

weapons."

Two Khmer men allegedly connected to the gang, possibly soldiers, were killed.

Earlier, Hong Kong men Fat Kolou, 43, and Sung Kong, 29, were arrested as they drove

their Mercedes-Benz on Rt 4 toward Kampong Som, allegedly with a cache of weapons

they intended to put on a ship to Macau.

The pair led police to their Cambodian suppliers back in Phnom Penh, and the shoot-out

ensued, Heng Peo said.

Police confiscated arms including two AK47 rifles equipped with silencers, four Czech-made

pistols, a grenade launcher and hundreds of bullets.

Heng Peo alleged the gang had been operating for some time and was previously protected

by Funcinpec military official Chao Sambath, who is believed to have been killed

after the July fighting, but provided no evidence of that.

A spokesman for Macau's security forces said they would be in contact with Cambodian

police over the arrests. Tensions in Macau have been high recently, with the Oct

19 killing of two people outside the Hyatt Hotel, in what police called an internal

triad dispute. - Reported by Huw Watkin.

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