Kampong Speu provincial police yesterday denied a claim that police demanded $200 each from 19 people arrested over cock fighting in exchange for their release.
Provincial police chief Brigadier General Som Bora issued the denial in response to a Facebook post which said the 19 were arrested on July 9 and released after spending the night in jail. The post was picked up by local media.
Brig Gen Bora said the 19 men, described as cock fight gambling addicts, were released after counselling.
“Police did not take any money or receive any bribe from them,” he said. “They were released after they were counselled and signed pledges, guaranteed by families, that they would not repeat the offence.”
“Although the law states that anyone caught gambling will be taken to court and faces up to a month in jail, the prosecutor decided to free them so that they can vote in next Sunday’s election,” he added.
Captain Veng Long, a police officer in Samroang Tong district, said that the 19 were arrested on July 9 during a raid at a coffee shop in Trapaing Kuong commune.
“They were die-hard gamblers,” he said. “They were arrested while betting on a cock fighting telecast over an online feed from Thailand.”
He added that police seized 25 motorbikes from them and the coffee shop’s TV set.