Diplomat Hurt In Attempted Robbery

A senior official at the German Embassy narrowly escaped death last week, when a robber’s bullet grazed his head.

Uwe Janipz, head of administration and the third in command at the German Embassy, was ap­proaching his home just after mid­night Dec 31. Two men pull­ed up on a motorcycle at the corner of Street 51 and 322. They opened his car door and shouted “money, money,” he said.

As Janipz attempted to shut the door, one of the thieves pulled a pistol and fired into the car. The bullet grazed Janipz’s head, causing bleeding, but did not require medical attention, he said.

After firing the pistol, the two men sped away. Janipz returned home to treat his wound.

“I was very careless,” he said. “I drove and had forgotten to use the central locking system. A small motorcycle pulled up next to me and I was totally surprised. I was very fortunate, if it had been 2 centimeters difference, it would have been different.”

The incident was the second time in recent weeks a senior diplomat has been targeted for theft. US Ambassador Kent Wiedemann and his wife were robbed at gunpoint on Street 240 near their Phnom Penh home in November.

Janipz said he “sent a note” to police informing them of the incident, but does not expect action because “I was unable to give a description, it was very dark and I was totally surprised.” Three senior police officials reached Thursday said they had not heard of the case.

Still, one government official said he was alarmed by the latest incident.“We must have a full investigation, those responsible must be brought to trial,” said Khieu Sop­heak, spokesman for the Min­is­try of Interior. “That is a concern of the ministry. Security for all peo­ple, but especially for friendly people visiting our country. If we have more security, we can re­ceive more business, more tour­ists. We have to do an investigation.”

Ambassador Kent Wiedemann said Thursday there has been no progress in the investigation of his case “that I am aware of.”

“I’d be surprised if there were,” he said. “I had nothing I could impart to police. It was dark, and I was mesmerized by the pistol. My wife also was pretty scared.”

 

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