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Three men on trial over armed motorbike robbery

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried an ex-soldier and two construction workers who allegedly robbed a garment worker of his motorbike at gunpoint in Por Senchey district in May.

Presiding Judge Leang Samnath identified them as Pung Chev, 34; and construction workers Hak Seiha, 30; and Morn Sith, 26.

He noted that the three are charged with theft with aggravating circumstances and unauthorised holding of weapons and face up to eight years in jail if convicted.

Judge Samnath said that at about 7.30pm on May 29, the three accused rode a motorbike and chased after the victim Sam Buna, 24, who was riding his Honda Dream motorbike along a quiet stretch of road in the district’s Samrong commune.

He noted that Mr Seiha rode the motorbike with Mr Sith seated in the middle and Mr Chev, armed with a pistol, at the back.

“After catching up with the victim’s motorbike, Mr Chev took out the pistol and pointed it at Mr Buna’s chest, threatening to shoot him,” Judge Samnath said. “The victim was scared and fled on foot, leaving his motorbike behind.”

“When the victim fled, Mr Sith stole his motorbike and rode off on it with Mr Seiha and Mr Chev following,” he added.

He noted that Mr Chev later pawned the motorbike for $700 at a shop in Tuol Kork district.

Judge Samnath said the three men were arrested at their rental house in Por Senchey district’s Kakab commune on June 3 after police found the stolen motorbike in the pawnshop and were given Mr Chev’s details.

He noted that police have since returned the motorbike to Mr Bunna.

During yesterday’s trial, the three accused admitted the offence, claiming that it was their first robbery.

They said they decided to steal the motorbike because they did not have any money to pay for food. All three pleaded for a light sentence.

“I know that what I did is illegal and violates the laws but I had no choice because I did not have money to pay for food or my rent,” Mr Chev said. “Please reduce my sentence. I promise that I will correct myself and will not commit any crime again.”

A verdict is due November 12.

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