Alleged Buffalo Rustlers Detained and Charged

Three people arrested for stealing water buffalo were charged with theft and sent to the Ratanakkiri provincial prison on Tuesday, officials said.

Him Sas, 51, Ly Sokkry, 24, and Phat David, 23, were arrested on Sunday morning after a villager in neighboring O’Chum district on Saturday reported four missing beasts.

According to Meas Povbora, the head of the provincial police’s minor crimes bureau, the three denied the allegations during police questioning.

“They said they had bought them from others,” he said, but hung up when asked if police were investigating this claim.

Morm Vanda, a provincial deputy prosecutor, declined to comment on what the three had said in court.

City police confirmed earlier in the week that Ms. Sas’ husband was a Banlung City police officer, but Mr. Vanda said the man had not been called into the proceedings.

If a judge found that other people had participated in the crime, they would face the same charges, he said.

The suspects face six months to three years in prison and a fine between 1 million and 6 million riel, or about $250 to $1,500.

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