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Appeal Court hears gems robbery case

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Suong Eng was sentenced to eight years in jail. KBN

The Court of Appeal yesterday heard the case of three men who were jailed eight years for robbing a jewellery shop owner in Kampong Cham province in 2017.

Presiding Judge In Vanvibol identified them as Suong Eng, 44, Sok Sinuon, 58, and his nephew Pov Sam Oeun, 44.

He said the three were convicted by Kampong Cham Provincial Court on December 20, 2017 and sentenced to eight years each in jail. They were convicted of theft with aggravating circumstances.

Judge Vanvibol noted that Mr Sinoun and Mr Sam Oeun have claimed they are innocent and asked the court to overturn their convictions, while Mr Eng is seeking a lower jail term. All three filed their appeals on December 30, 2017.

Judge Vanvibol noted that at about 7am on February 5, 2017, Mr Eng and two accomplices, named as Reaksmey and Khmao and who are at large, snatched a bag from Sok Leakhena, 36, a jewellery shop owner living in Kampong Cham province while she was walking from her house towards her shop near Kampong Cham Market in Kampong Cham city.

“During the robbery, Mr Eng took a pistol and pointed it at the victim and threatened to kill her if she shouted for help,” he said. “Mr Reaksmey and Mr Khao then snatched the bag before all three fled into a car with Mr Sinuon and Mr Sam Oeurn inside.”

Judge Vanvibol noted that after the robbery, the men travelled in the car to Phnom Penh where they sold the contents of the bag, which included gold, diamonds and other gems, at a jewellery shop in Chamkar Mon district for $11, 600.

He noted that the men then divided the money and went their separate ways.

Judge Vanvibol said that based on CCTV footage at the scene of the robbery, Mr Eng was arrested by provincial and municipal police in Phnom Penh on April 6, 2017.

He added that based on Mr Eng’s confession, Mr Sinuon and Mr Sam Oeun were arrested in Siem Reap province on April 10.

At yesterday’s hearing Mr Eng admitted committing the offence. He requested the appeal court to reduce his sentence from eight years to four years.

He told the court that he was a casino gambler and robbed the victim because he lost all his money gambling in a casino in Phnom Penh.

“I now have learned from my mistake,” Mr Eng said. “I promise the court that I will not repeat the offence in future.”

Both Mr Sinoun and Mr Sam Oeun denied the allegations and told the court they had nothing to do with the robbery and were innocent.

They said that they were both taxi drivers and on the day of the robbery Mr Eng and his two friends paid them $100 for a trip from Kampong Cham province to Phnom Penh.

Both men requested the court to quash their convictions and release them from prison.

A verdict is due June 25.

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