Police in Kandal province arrested a military police officer from neighboring Kompong Speu province on Saturday in connection with the armed robbery of a grocery store on January 31, making him the last of three suspects in the case to be caught.
Mean Veasna, 25, who holds the rank of lieutenant, lives in Kandal but was arrested Saturday morning while working in Kompong Speu after his alleged accomplices gave him away, according to Soeum Rithy, who heads the Kandal police force’s serious crimes bureau.
“He was sent to prison yesterday afternoon after he was arrested in the morning at his unit in Kompong Speu province for robbery with aggravating circumstances,” he said on Sunday.
Mr. Rithy said his two alleged accomplices, Seng Da, 23, and Try Sokhim, 16, were both arrested on Thursday.
“After the arrests in Kandal province, those two guys confessed that they committed the robbery—three of them in all. They told us the three of them did it together and provided us with the name and workplace of the military police officer,” he said.
“And they told us that the military police officer provided them with the guns to rob the grocery store.”
Kompong Speu military police commander Chou Sarun and his deputy, Chan Da, both declined to comment on the arrest of one of their officers.
The day after the robbery in Ponhea Leu district’s Chhvaing commune, police said the shop owner was held up as she was closing in the evening by three men wearing masks and armed with two pistols and an AK-47 assault rifle. They said the robbers made off with about $10,000 worth of cash and jewelry after threatening to shoot the shop owner and her daughter but left before police arrived without firing a round.
Deputy Kandal provincial police chief Roeun Nara said all three suspects were provisionally charged by a provincial court prosecutor. And although Mr. Veasna denied involvement, he said, the victims had identified him by his voice and body shape and by clothes and bags seized by police during the arrests.