Five young men—all sons of senior government officials— were charged Wednesday with robbery in Phnom Penh Municipal Court after police said they fled with a woman’s necklace in Meanchey district Tuesday.
“Many high-ranking officials came here to intervene,” said Uk Savuth, chief court prosecutor. But Uk Savuth said the boys would not be released and could face two to three years in jail.
Police officials said the woman and her moto-taxi driver gave chase on Tuesday after six boys driving three motorbikes took her necklace.
The woman attracted the attention of police by yelling, “Thieves! Thieves!” as her moto sped up Norodom Boulevard.
Hearing her pleas, police joined the chase as the suspects crossed Monivong Bridge and drove past Phsar Chbar Ampou.
They ditched their motorbikes near a small lake and hid in high grass, police official said.
Police spent Tuesday night looking for the suspects, but arrested only five of them. Villagers armed with sticks and knives joined in the search.
“This was not their first time. They have done this two or three times in the past,” said Pol Muth, police chief of Meanchey district. “It is lucky that police were the ones to find them….Otherwise, they would have been killed.”
Court documents provided the names of the suspects and their fathers, but did not list their fathers’ occupations.
The suspects include: Sim Davit, 18, son of Vong Savy; Mum Rasmei, 19, son of Mum Prich; Bou Sopha, 21, son of Bou Phal; Srei Sarath, 22, son of Srei Ry; and Samoeun, 18, son of Kim Veasna.
Police officials said Srei Ry, Kim Veasna, Bou Phal and Mum Prich work in the logistics department at the Ministry of Interior. Vong Savy works at the Council of Ministers.
“At the very least, these boys will sit in jail for a period of time,” Uk Savuth said.
Police said the incident is the latest in a rash of thefts that have occurred lately in Meanchey district .