2 Boat Hijacking Suspects Under Surveillance

Police are staking out the homes of at least two suspects in connection with Wednesday’s tour boat hijacking, a top police official said Friday.

Lek Vannak, deputy municipal police chief, said police have found the Phnom Penh addresses of two of the suspects, and they believe at least one other is hiding in the capital.

Police have the houses under surveillance, but “I suspect they are living in a hotel or some other secret place,” Lek Vannak said.

The Ministry of Tourism, meanwhile, issued a statement Friday of regret the incident occurred and promised to work with other government ministries to “draft up proper plans” to prevent such incidents in the future.

One suspect, 28-year-old Cho­am Phal, has been arrested and at least six others remain at large after a bold and well-organized robbery Wednesday of a tour boat traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. About 90 passengers, including 44 foreigners, and crew were bound and gagged during the two-hour hijacking. The so-called fast boats are a popular means of travel for budget tourists and locals.

Military police commander Sao Sokha also said Friday that no additional arrests had yet been made.

Police also have not set up checkpoints, conducted house to house searches or posted photographs of any of the suspects, Lek Vannak said. Rather, they are using intelligence work to find the suspects, he said.



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