Two Buddhist monks and two pagoda boys who allegedly turned to banditry have been arrested in connection with the beating of a man and the stealing of his motorcycle, police said on Friday.
The monks and one of the pagoda boys were arrested in Kandal province on Tuesday night while they planned another motorcycle heist, police said.
Police discovered a metal pipe and two knives while searching monks Khut Chak, 23, Chy Tha, 21, and pagoda boy Chea Nop, 21, Takeo provincial police chief Nuon Phon said on Friday.
A fourth member of the group, pagoda boy Touch Em, 25, was implicated by the three and arrested later, Nuon Phon said. “The three…implicated one more man—a pagoda boy,” he said.
According to police, Khut Chak and his assistant, Chea Nop, hailed a motorcycle taxi in Takhmau town, Kandal province March 26 and asked the driver to take them to Bati district in Takeo province.
Arriving at their destination at around 8 pm, driver Min Khorm, 43, was struck on the head with a metal pipe and left unconscious on the roadside. The alleged bandits made their getaway and later sold the motorcycle in Phnom Penh for $140, Nuon Phon said.
Tuesday, Khut Chak, Chea Nop and a third monk, Chy Tha, took a motorcycle taxi from Bati district to Kandal Stung district, where police stopped and searched them.
The four were charged with robbery and are detained in Takeo provincial prison, he said.
Nuon Phon would not disclose the name of the Phnom Penh pagoda where the monks resided.