Military Police Officer Linked To Holdup

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.

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