Armed bank robbery yields $100,000

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Police officers lock down the crime scene in the capital’s Chamkar Mon district to investigate the $100,000 armed bank heist. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Note:  The CCTV footage referring to the RHB Bank Robbery published in today’s Khmer Times was obtained from social media and not from RHB Bank. The veracity of the said footage cannot be confirmed.

Five masked men armed with guns and body armour brazenly robbed an RHB Indochina bank branch in broad daylight in the capital yesterday morning, making off with $100,000.

Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak said late last night that one person has been brought in for questioning thus far, but would not reveal any further details.

“This is the first time an armed bank robbery has occurred in a long time,” Gen Sopheak added.

Phnom Penh police yesterday said that the robbery occurred at about 11.40am at RHB Indochina’s Mao Tse Toung Boulevard branch in Chamkar Mon district.

“We are working on the case and our officers are in the process of questioning bank employees,” said penal bureau chief Eng Sorphea.

Video footage obtained from the social media and circulating online shows five masked men wearing motorbike helmets pointing guns at a bank security guard and stashing cash into a bag while behind a teller’s counter.

Mr Sorphea said the footage has been analysed by experts and they have concluded that the men were wearing body armour.

He noted that the suspects knew the bank’s layout and said police are considering whether or not it was an inside job.

The National Police yesterday reported on its website that the robbers made off with $100,000.

Witnesses have told police that the suspects were wearing civilian clothes and pointed guns at a security guard inside the bank, the National Police added.

When asked why the bank had only one, unarmed security guard on duty, Gen Sopheak said that it was normal for banks to have one security guard.

“If a company wants to request for our officers to guard their banks then we will comply,” he said, noting that companies can pay to have their businesses guarded by armed police officers.

Investigators speak to a bank official behind barricade tape. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Ministry of Interior does not allow private security firms to arm their guards, Gen Sopheak noted.

Last month, the National Bank of Cambodia said banks were no longer in need of armed guards because the country had “fully achieved peace”.

“Security guards do not need to have weapons while working because it could provoke life-threatening incidents and cause public disorder,” an NBC statement said.

RHB Indochina last night released a statement addressing the robbery.

“All staff and customers were safe during the incident,” it said. “An investigations into the robbery is currently being carried out by the Ministry of Interior…the branch will remain closed until further notice to facilitate investigations.”

“We will provide updates from time to time on our website and social media platforms,” the statement added. “We would like to assure our customers that their savings and investments remain safe and secure.”

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