Victims of an alleged gang attack last week in Phnom Penh filed a complaint with the municipal police Monday, accusing the sons of high-ranking officials and wealthy businessmen of having beaten them bloody in a case of mistaken identity. The complaint may be of little help, however, as the victims fear that the suspects’ family connections means police will not investigate them.
The complaint implicated, but did not fully name, five suspects, who allegedly include the son of a municipal government official and prominent business owners.
But Taingly, 23, Mann Phathna, 24, and Chhaing Sophea, 23, claim they were badly beaten on Dec 21 by a gang of 15 wealthy young men in luxury cars. According to the victims’ complaint, the attackers were armed with an AK-47 rifle, three M-16 rifles, a handgun, an electric stungun and six steel pipes.
At a news briefing Monday, the victims and their parents said that they did not include the full names of their attackers in their complaint because they don’t know them.
“It is very hard for us to do anything against them,” said But Chanthou, one of the victim’s uncles.
The three victims, who suffered broken bones and needed stitches, are asking for $20,000 each in compensation, according to a copy of their police complaint.
According to the complaint, But Taingly claims he was also robbed of a gold bracelet and his phone; Chhaing Sophea, of a wallet with $200 and 25,000 riel; and Mann Phathna, of a diamond ring and his phone.
Chhaing Sophea’s older brother Chhaing Vithou said at the press briefing that he also signed the complaint because the attackers robbed him of $1,600. According to the complaint, he is asking for $4,000 in compensation.
But Chanthou said he and the victims spent 30 minutes Monday going over the attack with Peng Vannak, deputy chief of the municipal police’s minor crimes unit.
Contacted by phone Monday, Peng Vannak said police continued to investigate.