Police Arrest Seven for Theft, Murder; Four Still at Large

Seven men suspected of breaking into a Phnom Penh house last month, killing a man with an AK-47 assault rifle and then making away with $500 in cash and jewelry, were arrested over the weekend, police said on Sunday.

Deputy Pur Senchey police chief Chea Sovann said the suspects were tracked down after a weeklong investigation that culminated in six arrests on Saturday night in Kompong Speu province’s Thpong district, plus another arrest on Sunday morning in the capital’s Pur Senchey district, where the robbery took place.

“One suspect…lived in the same village as the victim,” Mr. Sovann said. “This suspect provided the group of robbers with information and led them to the victim’s house,” he said.

Mr. Sovann added that one suspect confessed to the robbery under questioning and told police the gang comprised 11 members, armed with three AK-47 assault rifles.

Police are now searching for the remaining four suspects, he said.

Ey Rith, chief of the Interior Ministry’s serious crimes department, said most of the suspects had previous convictions for robbery, with some of the men having been convicted of murder.

“Most of the suspects used to be in prison. They came back from prison and had no job to do so they robbed again,” he said.

Mr. Rith added that police were continuing their inquiries and would release further information at a later date.

The robbers took jewelry, three telephones, one identity card, car ownership papers and car keys, police said last month.

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