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Truck driver charged for stealing 21 barrels of gas

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused arrives for his trial yesterday with other inmates due in court. KT/Siv Channa

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a truck driver for allegedly stealing 21 barrels of gasoline from a company where he worked in January in order to pay for his mother’s health bills.

Judge Thlang Phaneth identified the accused as 34-year-old Chan Sophea, a truck driver working with the Tela Gasoline Company and living in Por Senchey district.

Judge Phaneth said the accused was charged with breach of trust and faces between six month to three years in jail.

Judge Phaneth stated that the accused was arrested by Sen Sok district police on January 23 after the Tela Gasoline Company filed a complaint which claimed he stole 21 barrels of gasoline.

Deputy prosecutor Srey Makny noted that Mr Sophea started working at the company as a truck driver in November last year.

He added that the accused received a salary of $180 per month for delivering gasoline from the company’s station to customers in the city.

Mr Makny said that on January 23, the accused took 21 barrels of gasoline, or about 360 litres, from the company’s station for delivery to a client in Sen Sok district.

However, he said that Mr Sophea instead sold the gas and took the money for his personal use.

Mr Makny added the company became aware of what Mr Sophea had done because the customer that the gas was intended for telephoned to report they had not received their order.

“He was ordered by the company to deliver 21 barrels of gasoline to a client,” Mr Makny said. “Instead, he sold them and took the money for himself.”

“He was arrested by police on that day in January in accordance with the complaint submitted by the company’s representative,” he added.

During yesterday’s trial, Mr Sophea admitted committing the offence and confessed that he earned about $350 from the sales of the 21 barrels of gasoline.

“I took the gasoline and sold it because I did not have any money to pay for the treatment of my ill mother,” Mr Sophea told the court. “At the time, my mother was seriously ill and was sent to stay at a hospital for treatment, but I did not have any money to pay for her treatment.”

Mr Sophea asked the court to release him from prison so that he would be able to make money to pay back the company.

A verdict is due on June 10.

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