Phnom Penh and Kompong Speu provincial police are searching for three men who suspected of raping a 17-year-old girl after stealing her car and kidnapping her on Sunday night, police said yesterday.
The robbery occurred a the woman, a student in Phnom Penh, was sitting in the car with her 4-year-old niece in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, according to Svay Yoeun, Kompong Speu provincial penal police chief.
The three men pistol-whipped the woman, commandeered the car and drove her to Kompong Speu’s Oudong district where they raped her before stealing $20, $50 worth of phone credit and a mobile phone before fleeing, Mr Yoeun said. They did not harm the woman’s niece, who was in the car the entire time.
The victim called the police at around 3 am Monday morning after being assisted by local villagers.
“We got there right after the telephone complaint and we rounded up that area and searched for the perpetrators until 11 am,” said Mr Yoeun. “This case is probably a revenge case because if they were just robbing the car, they would not have taken the people along with them.”
Although they are searching for the rapists, police currently have few leads, he added.
“We have some clues about the perpetrators, and we are moving forward on this,” Phnom Penh police chief Touch Naruth said yesterday. “Nobody except gangsters and construction workers hang out in that area.”
Mr Naruth added that police were treating this as a rape case and not a robbery.
“If they wanted to steal a car they would have stolen a luxury car, not a small Korean car like this, and they would not have taken the victim along or they would have driven to Kompong Chhnang province rather than Kompong Speu province,” he said, adding that he could not remember the make or model of the car.
Lim Mony, women’s program officer for the human rights organization Adhoc, said yesterday that there were more than 460 rape cases in 2009, 78 percent of which were rapes of minors.
“Rape cases are increasing, and they are getting worse and worse, getting more cruel,” she said. “Most victims are kids, and it is easy for them to be victimized because they don’t have the ability to protect themselves.”