Police in Kompong Thom province are searching for three men who held up the owners of a Wing mobile payment kiosk in Kompong Svay district on Monday night, the latest in a string of similar robberies.
District police chief Khan Chan Kor said Tuesday that the thieves entered the house where the kiosk was located at about 8 p.m. armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, a handgun and an iron bar, then threatened to kill the couple and their children if they did not hand over their money.
“The robbers did not kill them or hurt anyone because the victims agreed to give them the money,” he said.
Mr. Chan Kor said the bandits made off with about $13,000 worth of U.S. dollars, riel and Thai baht, as well as a platinum ankle bracelet and several mobile phones.
Deputy district police chief Sin Linh said local authorities had taken steps to beef up security in the area, including more frequent patrols by officers and community volunteers, and accused the couple of thwarting the arrest of the robbers by waiting 15 minutes after they left before calling police.
“If the victims had reported the robbery right after the robbers left the house, we might have arrived in time to arrest them,” he said, noting that the district police station was nearby.
Mr. Ling said police had some clues about the suspects’ identities, noting that only the man brandishing the rifle had been wearing a mask.
Monday’s holdup was at least the fourth armed robbery of a Wing kiosk in recent months, and the latest in a rash of robberies targeting small shops and grocery stores.
On Saturday, a military police lieutenant was arrested in Kompong Speu province in connection with one such robbery on January 31.
Wing has said that its kiosk operators receive safety training and are advised not to keep large sums of cash on hand.