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Two on trial for failed ATM heist

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The two accused men at Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Post News

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried two Belarus nationals over an attempted ATM heist in Daun Penh district in November.


Presiding Judge Seng Leang identified the men as Maksim Molocnkov, 30, and Alexander Bubenko, 39, both of whom face charges of theft and breaking and entering, and face three to ten years in prison if convicted.

Judge Leang said the two men, who wore caps and balaclavas, broke into an ABA ATM in Chey Chumneas commune in the early hours of November 27 last year and attempted to steal money from the cash dispenser.

Mr Molocnkov broke into the ATM and attempted to reach the cash while Mr Bubenko was outside as a lookout for police or security guards, Judge Leang said.

“Security guards who were monitoring CCTV feeds saw Mr Molocnkov trying to break into the ATM,” Judge Leang said. “They proceeded to apprehend the men and hand them over to local police.”

Police confiscated about $20 from the men, as well as fake ATM cards.

Both men denied the allegations during their trial yesterday, stating that they were arrested while attempting to withdraw money from the ATM and that he incident was just a simple misunderstanding.

They claimed that they were intoxicated and were trying to withdraw cash from a malfunctioning ATM.

“I am not a thief. I did not try to steal money from the ATM,” said Mr Molocnkov. “The reason why I stayed at the ATM for so long was because I was not able to withdraw money from my account.”

“I’m innocent,” he added. “Please drop the charges and release me.”

However, their account was contested by deputy prosecutor Sin Vireak, who argued that the men were caught red-handed by CCTV cameras which provided concrete evidence of an attempt to break into the ATM.

“I would like the court to uphold the charges and the men to be punished,” Mr Vireak said. A verdict is due April 11.

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