Two men were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of taking part in the shooting of a French tourist and other robberies in Ratanakkiri province, police said.
Sok Kry, 20, and El Matt, 36, were sent to the provincial court, Banlung district police chief Sem Bun said. Sok Kry remains there while El Matt was released for lack of evidence, he added.
Police arrested the two men near the Banlung town market Monday afternoon based on identification from villagers, he said.
“We brought three villagers to investigate with us and point out the real offenders,” he said.
George Rostaing, a 63-year-old French tourist, was superficially shot in the stomach when two men on motorcycles attacked him and his wife on Feb 2 near Banlung town. Several villagers had also been robbed recently after being followed from the market, and police suspected the same men were involved.
Police and villagers also saw Sok Kry stealing a necklace from someone at the market shortly before his arrest, Sem Bun said. Although the robbers were wearing facemasks during their previous attacks, villagers identified them based on other features such as height and body type, he added.
“Before his arrest, Sok Kry threw a package in the crowd near the market. We suspect that package contain gold or keys for operating stolen motorcycles,” Sem Bun said. However, police could not find the pocket-sized package, he said, and can therefore only speculate on its contents.
Police also confiscated Sok Kry’s red Wave motorcycle, which is the same type as that used, along with a black Suzuki Viva, in the robberies, he said.
“Our police officers are very active now to explore other suspects in order to serve the interest of tourists…because this region is very popular from year to year,” he said.
Provincial court Prosecutor Mey Sokhan said the two men were indeed sent to his court.
He said, however, that he thought this case was unrelated to the attack of the French tourist and declined to say if the men were charged, before hanging up.