Poipet Police Accused of Extortion, Beating

Two men yesterday filed a complaint in Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court accusing a Poipet City police officer and the owners of a karaoke parlor of beating and robbing them, while a separate complaint alleges that after the accusers’ arrest police extorted money for their release.

Police denied the allegations.

Complainants Khin Kosal, 19, and Heng Songtra, 31, accuse Meas Meng Hour, an Poipet City intervention police officer, of torture and robbery, and they accuse Meas Srey Mab, the owner of a karaoke parlor along with her husband, of robbery and causing injury to the two men. A separate complaint accuses the Poipet police of extortion. The accusers say they do not know the husband’s name.

“Police brutally beat me and took my money,” Mr Songtra said yesterday. “I have sued them hoping the court will imprison those police and the karaoke owners who just tortured people and police who demanded money for my release.”

Mr Kosal said that their troubles began Sunday when he, Mr Songtra and two friends were drinking at a Karaoke parlor Sunday night but could not pay their $19 bill.

The four negotiated to pay some of the bill and return the next day but as they left the restaurant, a police car ran them off the road, he claimed.

“Suddenly the accused cop pointed his gun at me and let the couple beat me up with the back of an ax six times on my shoulders and back. Then that cop trampled on my neck,” said Mr Kosal, adding he now has trouble moving. He said he was arrested Sunday at which time Ms Srey Mab’s husband took his necklace, while the other three were arrested Monday.

Police demanded a total of $550 to release the four on Tuesday and settled for $350, with $300 in compensation for the karaoke parlor owners, he said.

Mr Srey Mab and Mr Meng Hour could not be reached.

Oum Sophal, the Poipet City police chief, denied the accusations of improper conduct and said the four were released when they agreed to pay their bill and compensation.

“The accusation of unlawful payment to police is not true,” he said. “The fact is that the four drank and didn’t pay which is why police took action after receiving the complaint.”


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