Police Crack Down on Robbers on Motorbikes

A spate of armed robberies in Phnom Penh led police to target two groups of thieves who were committing crimes while riding their motorbikes, sparking 15 arrests in the capital as well as Kandal and Preah Sihanouk provinces, a municipal police official said on Tuesday.

“We believe that from now on, armed-robbery cases in Phnom Penh will decrease,” said Eng Sorphea, chief of Phnom Penh’s serious crimes bureau.

So far, the first group has confessed to having committed 14 robberies in Phnom Penh, he said. Police confiscated 18 motorbikes, 71 drug sachets, a K-54 handgun, a samurai sword and a machete, he said.

The operation targeted the thieves over four days, from Thursday through Monday, Mr. Sorphea said.

“Within one week in late November there were five robbery cases,” he said. “We called for an immediate meeting to identify the suspects in order to evaluate [the situation] and start the crackdown.”

All of the suspects were sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning on Tuesday afternoon.

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