Authorities temporarily shut down a Phnom Penh hotel on Thursday, where five Japanese women were bound and robbed at gunpoint in their hotel room by three unidentified men.
The Angkor Hotel in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Kandal I commune will remain closed, pending a police investigation into the robbery, district governor Sok Sambath said.
Around 10 pm Tuesday, three men armed with a pistol entered the women’s room, tied them up and robbed them of more than $900 before fleeing, police said. After nearly an hour, the women freed themselves and notified hotel staff, who called police.
“Although the offenders are still at large, we hope the offenders will be found, if the hotel owner cooperates closely with our investigation,” said Yim Socheat, the penal police chief of Daun Penh district.
After initially requesting a week of free accommodation as compensation, the women changed their minds and left for Vietnam Thursday morning, said a hotel staff member, who declined to be named. Police suspect the perpetrators were hotel guests.
Officials on Thursday criticized the hotel management for not properly registering its guests. The hotel “did not obey the local authorities’ policy. The hotel did not note the guests’ names,” Sok Sambath said.
Adding to the commotion of Tuesday night’s robbery, another hotel guest said he had a gun pointed at him by a Western man, who hotel staff later identified as hotel security.
The guest, who gave only his first name, William, said he heard a knock on his door about four hours after the robbery reportedly took place. When he answered, he was faced with man pointing a gun at his head.
“I thought this guy was going to rob me,” William said, adding that he shut the door immediately and ran to the balcony.
“If this is security…then if they shut down the hotel, that’s a good thing,” he said. “I don’t think that fares well for the country.”
Hotel management declined to speak to reporters Thursday.
Tourism Minister Lay Prohas said the robbery was “very regrettable,” but an isolated incident.
(Additional reporting by Wency Leung)