One Arrested Over Late-Night Armed Robbery

Police have arrested one of the four suspects believed to have carried out a brazen armed robbery in Phnom Penh on Thursday, officials said Friday.

Astride eight motorbikes, a group of 18 young men had been driving home to Kandal province after a party in Phnom Penh in the early hours of Thursday morning when they were set upon, according to police.

The assailants — four men on two motorbikes armed with a pair of pistols — opened fire on the returning revelers in Meanchey district, making off with two late-model Honda scooters and leaving three of the friends with bullet holes in their legs, police said.

“They did not say anything. They just raised their guns and fired on me and my friends,” recalled 19-year-old Muong Samnang from his hospital bed on Thursday. Mr. Samnang fared worst in the encounter, suffering a gunshot wound to his knee and losing his new Honda MSX motorbike.

On Friday, Meanchey district police chief Teng Sino said officers had tracked one of the bandits to a market near the Mondial Center in Tuol Kok district, and apprehended him there on Thursday evening.

“Now we are looking for the other suspects,” Mr. Sino said.

Tey Visal, deputy chief of the municipal police’s penal bureau, identified the man in custody as 18-year-old Kong Dea.

“He told us that he is not the one who shot the gun, but was a person in the group [of robbers], that he was a driver,” he said.

Mr. Visal’s boss, bureau chief Eng Sorphea, said Mr. Dea was arrested while trying to sell Mr. Samnang’s Honda.

“He was arrested when he took the MSX motorbike to sell at the Mondial market just after 7 p.m.,” he said, declining to comment further.

Muong Sorith, 32, the older brother of Mr. Samnang, said he had heard about the arrest and was thrilled that the motorbike would be returned.

“I’m very happy that police arrested a suspect and confiscated the motorbike belonging to my brother,” he said.

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