Police in Kompong Cham province are searching for a woman who escaped from the provincial police station on Sunday after her arrest the previous day for allegedly kidnapping a 9-year-old girl, police said.
Khun Sreineang, 23, who was arrested in Phnom Penh after taking a girl from her school in Kompong Cham City on Saturday, escaped through a gap by the roof of a toilet, said Choem Senghong, deputy Kompong Cham provincial police chief.
“We are very sorry that our policemen were careless with her,” Mr Senghong said. “During about 25 minutes in the police station’s toilet, she escaped through an about 25 cm gap by the roof.”
The women’s cell in the police station did not have a toilet so police on duty allowed her to use the toilet and bathe in a room not reserved for suspects, he said. When Ms Sreineang did not come out, police tried to find a key to open the door from the outside and worried that she had committed suicide, he added.
“We printed 1,000 photographs of the female suspect last night and delivered the photographs to all commune police and military police [in Kompong Cham] to re-arrest her,” he said. “Now, we punish our policeman who was careless.”
Police in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district arrested Ms Sreineang and rescued the girl on Saturday afternoon when they arrived at a Cambodia Asia Bank branch. The suspect expected to collect a $12,000 ransom wired from the victim’s mother at the bank after making an agreement with her over the telephone.
Kompong Cham provincial police are offering a 1 million riel, or about $250, reward for anyone who returns Ms Sreineang, Kompong Cham provincial police chief Nuon Samin said.
“We appeal to the public for people who know the suspect” to come forward, he said. “We have shed some light on where the suspect is, and our police are working on the case.”
Mr Samin said Ms Sreineang’s family claimed that she previously stole belongings from relatives in Kompong Cham province’s Tbong Khmum district and Phnom Penh to finance a drug addiction.