Wanted Posters Lead To Arrest

Posters of suspected criminals posted earlier this month around the capital and in some provincial capitals have led to the arrest of one man, authorities said Monday.

The arrest came in Kompong Speu province, where a resident earned a 1 million riel ($250) reward for tipping off police to a suspected kidnappers’ whereabouts, said Phnom Penh Gov­ernor Chea Sophara, who has coordinated the campaign.

“This is a way for the people to cooperate with the authorities,” Chea Sophara said, referring to the reward.

The color posters include 26 mugshots of men who are suspected by police of being in­volved in kidnappings, according to Bith Kim Hong, Phnom Penh’s deputy police commander. Posters are up at markets, schools, pagodas and theaters.

Police have arrest warrants for all 26 of the pictured men, Bith Kim Hong said. He added that five more men also had been identified as suspects and their pictures will be added in the next version of the poster.

Bith Kim Hong identified the suspect taken into custody last week as Meas Phally, who has been linked to a Kompong Speu  kidnapping ring authorities claim was responsible for at least seven abductions and netting more than $500,000 in ransoms.

Police have said remaining members of the gang, including an RCAF sub-commander from Kom­pong Speu’s Baset district named Pak Chhorn, escaped arrest and fled to parts of Kom­pong Speu province some 50 km west of Phnom Penh.

Men Siborn, the military police commander for the province, said Monday that at least five men involved in kidnappings are “in the forest at all times” in Phnom Sruoch district.

“We have been working hard to arrest Pak Chhorn and his men,” Men Siborn said.

Seven men were arrested in December for alleged ties to the ring. Since announcing in mid-January the names of 11 more men with suspected links to the gang, police have arrested only Meas Phally.

General Keo Samuon, the top military commander in the province, said Friday that the fleeing men apparently have not been attacking villagers.

(Reporting by Saing Soenthrith, Van Roeun and Chris Decherd)



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