Two foreign tourists were shot and another assaulted in a late-night mugging incident
near O'Russey market in Phnom Penh in the early hours of Jan 13.
Dutch national Martijin Van Welzenes, 28, and Australian Ross Sin, 38, received non-serious
gunshot wounds at the corner of streets 182 and 107 at 12:40am while en route to
the Capital Guesthouse with three companions.
Makara 7 District police officer Yim Simony said the incident began when an Israeli
member of the group, Shani Roten, 21, was stopped by two armed men while walking
ahead of her four companions.
She refused their demands for money and was then slapped in the face by one of the
Moments later Van Welzenes and Sin arrived at the intersection and confronted the
One of the assailants produced a handgun and when his demands for money were met
with only $20, a Dutch passport and a credit card, he fired four rounds at the two
One bullet lodged in Van Welzenes' buttock and another grazed Sin's skull.
Police say Roten escaped during the shooting while the assailants fled the scene
by motorbike soon after.
The wounded tourists were treated for superficial injuries at Calmette Hospital and
with their three companions left on a flight for Bangkok later the same day to seek
further medical treatment.
In a final twist to the robbery, an anonymous caller informed Capitol Guesthouse
staff later on Jan 13 that Van Welzenes passport had been found and the caller wished
to negotiate its return.
Van Welzenes declined police requests that he agree to arrange a meeting with the
A spokesperson for the Australian Embassy said the incident was unfortunate.
"It points out how careful tourists have to be and how easy it is to be lulled
by the quiet streets of Phnom Penh at night," he said.
Although it has been some years since an Australian citizen had been shot in the
city, the spokesperson urged tourists to take the Embassy's travel advisory seriously
and avoid being on the streets late at night.
Tarek Bazley is in Cambodia with the help of Asia 2000 (NZ)