Real Driver, Fake Hijacker Charged Over Truck Heist

Two men accused of faking a container-truck hijacking in Preah Sihanouk province over the weekend were on Monday charged with aggravated theft and jailed, officials said.

Suon Born, a driver for the Uy Yong transportation company, and Pho Rithy, a driver for the TCS transportation company, were arrested in the province’s Kompong Seila district on Saturday after a representative of Uy Yong informed authorities that Mr. Born’s truck had been stopped earlier in the day and part of its cargo unloaded, according to military police.

Questioned by military police, both men claimed that Mr. Rithy forced Mr. Born from his truck at gunpoint in Kompong Speu province, drove it to a quiet spot off National Road 4, then paid Mr. Born $4,000 for his trouble.

Military police, however, believe the men colluded to steal from the truck and concocted the hijacking story to obscure the truth.

On Monday, both were sent to the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court and charged by an investigating judge, according to Ros Saram, a deputy prosecutor. “They were charged by the judge for theft with aggravating circumstances,” he said.

Var Chanthorn, chief of the Preah Sihanouk military police’s serious crimes bureau, said the contents of the truck were still unknown, but that the vehicle had been sent to the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to be inspected.

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