Police Thwart Gang Fight During Round-Up

After receiving numerous complaints about violence and robberies outside a nightclub in Battambang City, police Thursday rounded up 25 suspected criminals, claiming to have prevented an imminent gang brawl.

Deputy provincial police chief Chet Vanny said that since the beginning of the month, authorities had received an unusual number of complaints about crime outside the popular Star Light nightclub in the city’s Svay Por commune.

In the early hours Thursday, Mr. Vanny said, 53 officers from the provincial minor crimes bureau and the provincial intervention force convened at the nightclub to look for criminal activity, Mr. Vanny said.

“At about 1 a.m. this morning, our force arrested 25 people for questioning who were doing [an] activity that would affect society,” he said.

According to Mr. Vanny, when police arrived at the nightclub a group of 10 people—some of whom were armed with samurai-style swords—were preparing to fight.

“I think if our force had not cracked down last night, there would have been a big problem because there was a confrontation with samurai swords,” he said.

He added that police arrested a total of 25 people, aged between 17 and 25, around the nightclub—including most of the would-be fighters—and confiscated three swords and 10 motorbikes.

“After blood and urine tests, we found 13 of the 25 people were drug addicts. We are still considering whether to send them to court or send them to a drug treatment center,” he said, adding that most of the 13 were found with traces of methamphetamine in their systems.

Meng Lieng, chief of the provincial minor crimes bureau, said 11 of the 25 were released Thursday evening after their parents signed a waiver guaranteeing their children would not cause problems again.

He added that two of the 25—Prum Chiva, 24, and Chon Dara, 18—were identified as bag snatchers and would be sent to the provincial court Friday to face charges.

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