Six Convicted for String of Violent Robberies in Phnom Penh

A gang involved in a string of robberies, including one in which a motorbike owner was shot dead, received prison sentences totaling between 56 and 73 years on Tuesday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Four men and two women had been on trial for multiple robberies committed across the city, the most violent being the fatal shooting of Din Bunnarith, 21, who was killed while driving his 2015 Honda Dream through Tuol Kok district on December 11, 2015. He was shot in the head and his motorbike was stolen.

Shortly afterward, two other suspected gang members were killed during a shoot-out with police at a restaurant on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

On Tuesday, Zet Manrozet, 23; Pen Chamnab, 18; Him Sopheak, 22; Eng Arifin, 27; Nhem Kanitha, 21; and Pech Sonet, 22, were convicted of theft with aggravating circumstances for the killing and illegal weapon possession. Mr. Manrozet was also convicted of repeating a crime.

Presiding Judge Heng Kesaro sentenced the four men to 25 years in prison while the women received 20 years.

Mr. Manzoret was handed 25 years for a separate robbery in Daun Penh district on December 8, 2015, while the three other men got 20 years. The women received 18 years.

For another robbery in Meanchey district on November 11, 2015, Mr. Manzoret was sentenced for 23 years and the other men received 20-year sentences. Their female accomplices were given 18 years.

The presiding judge said the court will start hearings for several other cases involving the six defendants on May 4.

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