Six garment workers accused by police of being veteran motorbike thieves were tried by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.
Presiding Judge Veng Huoth said that male defendants Nhem Sareth, 31; Chhorn David, 28; Run Davy, 20; Phan Palen, 42; and Horm Sopheap, 20; and female defendant Prum Sreyda, 19, had also been arrested for being in possession of a large package of methamphetamines.
Seu Vanny, a prosecutor at the court, said the six were thought to have stolen motorbikes from warehouses at least five times around Por Sen Chey district in 2014.
“They were experienced motorbike thieves.
They always forced open motorcycle warehouses to rob them at night,” she said. “They were also drug users and traffickers.”
At trial, however, the six pled innocence, saying their confessions had been beaten out of them by police.
“I recognise that I was drug addict, but I was not a drug trafficker or burglar,” said Sareth, the purported leader of the group.
“I would like to ask the court to drop the charges against me and release me.”
A verdict is due on August 12.