Lieutenant Colonel Bun Satya, chief of the criminal investigation department in Phnom Penh, has been sued by a woman for alleged theft after her motorbike was seized as police property following her brother’s arrest.
According to the lawsuit filed on Thursday by Chhay Michou, 21, to Phnom Penh Municipal Court, her older brother Ly Sovanna was arrested on December 19 by police under the command of Lt Col Bun Satya. He was arrested for alleged theft committed in July 2016.
Mr Sovanna was detained in accordance with a court arrest warrant dated July 23, 2016.
Ms Michou said police seized her luxury Honda XR motorbike, which her brother had borrowed from her that night.
She said that while her brother was being detained at the police station, she contacted Lt Col Bun Satya directly to get her motorbike.
She proved it was hers by submitting the motorbike documents but he still did not give it to her, Ms Michou claimed.
“Later on, I saw my motorbike being ridden by police. They removed my licence plate and replaced it with a police plate. They stole my motorbike as their own,” she said.
“To find justice, I would like to ask the prosecutor to punish Mr Bun Satya by the law and demand 20 million riel (about $5,000) in compensation from him.”
She also requested that the court return her motorbike.
Lt Col Bun Satya denied the allegations, but acknowledged that police had used the motorbike for police work following approval from the court’s prosecutor once the suspect was sent to prison pending his trial.
“The seized motorbike was evidence. It was temporarily kept at our police station while the suspect was being detained in prison. Police did not steal it,” he said yesterday.
“We asked the prosecutor to use it for police work because it is a big, fast motorbike that is useful for cracking down and arresting thieves in the city.”
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophanna could not be reached for comment yesterday.