Police Probing Gang Raid by Wealthy Youths

Police said Tuesday they are investigating an alleged attack by a gang of wealthy young men who raided a house in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district armed with assault rifles, steel pipes and a Taser electric stun-gun.

Victims and witnesses interviewed on Tuesday, likened the violent and coordinated attack on Dec 21 to a scene from a Hong Kong action movie.

At about 4:30 pm on Dec 21, 20 young men blocked Street 113 in Boeng Kang Kong III commune with their luxury cars—two Audis, a Camry, a Lexus and a Hummer, said Buth Taingly, 23, a target of the attack.

Four or five men, some of whom were armed with AK-47 and M-16 rifles, remained by the cars as a group of about seven men, armed with steel pipes, a hand gun and an electric stun gun, chased Buth Taingly, along with Men Sophana, 24, into the house of their friend, Chhaing Sophea, 23, who was sleeping upstairs.

Yel Srieng, 60, Chhaing Sophea’s mother and the owner of the house where the attack took place, claimed on Tuesday that she begged the young men not to open fire.

“They ran over to my house and yelled ‘thief’ as they went upstairs and beat my son, who was sleeping, and his friends until they were bloody,” she said.

“I had to clean the blood for two hours,” Yel Srieng said, adding that after the attack she took her son and his friends to hospital where they were treated for cuts and broken bones.

Chhaing Sophea said on Tuesday that he was left with a broken left hand and broken toe and was shocked with the stun gun. Men Sophana received 12 stitches on his head, and also broke a finger and his left hand, Chhaing Sophea said.

Buth Taingly said he received 10 stitches on his head and was also shocked with the stun gun.

“They beat us without reason,” Buth Taingly said, adding that the attackers are the well known sons of successful businessmen and government officials. “I know them,” he added.

Buth Taingly declined to say whether he and his friends had had arguments with the group in the past.

Local police arrived before the attack was over, but would not take on the gang, Buth Taingly claimed.

Chamkar Mon district police chief Ouch Sokhon said on Tuesday that he had been out of town on Dec 21, and could not say whether police had indeed witnessed the melee.

Ouch Sokhon said that he forwarded the victims’ complaints and police reports to the municipal minor crime police department for investigation.

Minor crime police deputy chief Thai Vannak said that investigations were ongoing and that he knew the names of the suspects, but declined to identify them.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he was not aware of the attack.

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