Bullets Fly in Twin Incidents on Street 106

Customs officers and military police are pointing fingers at each other after gunfire erupted at a roadblock in Phnom Penh set up by officers trying to enforce vehicle taxes.

According to witnesses, police fired three or four shots, shooting out the tire of a vehicle that was trying to escape a roadblock on Street 106 in Daun Penh district.

Phnom Penh deputy commander of military police Vong Pisen said it was only customs officers who opened fire, not military police.

Military policeman Poung Sypeang said that although “two or four” bullets were fired into the air, “the tire broke by itself.”

Customs officer Poul Navy denied that customs officers opened fire. “The car owner himself tried to deflate the tire in order to keep the police from ta­king the car,” he claimed.

Customs officers said 17 vehicles were confiscated and that those cars’ owners will pay the initial vehicle tax as well as a fine.

Police shot at a suspected thief on the same street corner later Monday. Witnesses said a man on a motorbike snatched a gold chain from another man.

Witnes­ses said the suspect brandished a handgun and shouted, “Do you want to die?” Mu­nicipal police fired three shots at the suspect, who escaped.

No one was injured in either incident.

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