Three people, including two university students, have been placed in pre-trial detention by the Siem Reap provincial court for illegally trafficking firearms on Facebook, court spokesperson Ream Chan Mony said on Sunday.
“The provincial court charged and detained them at the provincial prison for illegal weapons trafficking because they purchased and then sold weapons illegally,” Chan Mony said.
Siem Reap provincial police chief Tith Narong told The Post on Sunday that the three suspects were arrested by provincial minor crime police last Wednesday.
Narong said the crackdown was led by National Police anti-cybercrime department director Chea Pov in collaboration with the provincial minor crime police. After an investigation, he said, police detained the three suspects.
A report issued by the provincial minor crime police identified the three suspects as Chea Cheab Hor, 19, a university student from Siem Reap city’s Chreav commune. He was charged with importing, exporting and processing weapons.
Another university student, Ly Taing Chheng, 20, and Ley Meng Long, 19 – both from Siem Reap city’s Sala Kamroeuk commune – were charged with illegally trafficking weapons.
During the operation, police confiscated a black Glock handgun, five gas containers used to pump gas into guns, several black holsters, three toolkits, Cheab Hor’s passport, Wing cards and a Thai insurance card.
“Under questioning, the suspects admitted to selling 100 standard handguns and approximately 300 gas- and air-powered handguns in the capital and provinces, mostly in Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province,” Narong said.
Pov told The Post on Sunday: “The online selling of firearms is a problem which affects national security and social order, and causes Cambodian people to be afraid.”
He warned young people not to get involved in selling firearms and requested the public to inform the police of any instances of illegal trafficking of weapons.
In a separate case last Wednesday, Phnom Penh Municipal Police arrested an American man in his 30s for concealing illegal weapons. The suspect was sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Ministry of Interior deputy crime department chief Keng Sokun told The Post on Sunday that the suspect was arrested in Chamkarmon district’s Phsar Doeum Thkov commune.
“Regarding the arrest of the American national, we sent a report to the prosecutor who is investigating to determine the relevant facts."
“The police submitted the case, and the suspect and evidence have been sent to the municipal court in line with legal procedures,” he said.
Neither Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesperson Ly Sophana, administrative director Y Rin nor deputy administrative director Sous Vichea Randy could be reached for comment.