Youths Held For Throwing Bags of Water

Police across Phnom Penh con­fis­cated more than 100 motorbikes and briefly detained a similar number of riders on Wednes­day after they threw plastic bags of water at each other in celebrations ahead of Khmer New Year, Mu­­ni­cipal Governor Kep Chukte­ma said Thursday.

The drivers were released after they and their parents promised that they would not engage in such activities again.

However,  the youths could be sent to court if they are rearrested, he said.

“We can’t forgive them anymore,” Kep Chuktema said.

“For the first arrest, those guys are de­tained at the district for a warning. But they will be sent to court for penal charges of causing public disorder when they are ar­rested a second time,” he added.

It is traditional to douse others with water on the final day of the Khmer New Year, but in recent years throwing water bags has be­­come common in the weeks pre­­ceding the April holiday.

Daun Penh district police this week have seized over 30 motorbikes and briefly detained more than 40 youths in a bid to curtail drag racing and hurling water at other motorists, officials said.

“Most of them are youths who throw water at each other and some others use the riverside for racing, which is very dangerous to other drivers,” said Phan Pheng, district police chief.

“Most residents and other drivers are really scared to drive along the streets,” he said.

Unregistered vehicles, as well as those on which duty had not been paid, were impounded and their owners ordered to pay, he add­ed.

Phnom Penh resident Prum So­cheat, 26, said that she is afraid of driving home from work be­cause of the num­ber of people drag racing and pelting young girls with water bags.

“Last year, my older sister was seriously hurt after she was hit by a motorbike racing along the streets,” she said.

Ke Somalin, 19, said that her parents have forbidden her from cross­ing the streets after midday for fear of motorbike racers.




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