Police in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet city on Sunday arrested a Chinese national for allegedly stealing a car belonging to a Cambodian woman in the city.
However, they released him on Monday after finding that he mistook the car for a similar model which a friend let him drive.
Captain Sok Kimheng, a city police officer, yesterday identified the man as Cheng Yebiao, 50, who works in a Chinese-owned casino in Bavet commune.
He said that at about 3pm on Saturday the victim, Chea Mom, 47, parked her car near a casino in the commune and Mr Cheng stole it and drove it to his rental house in the area.
He noted that the suspect later drove the car and parked it in the car park of the casino where he works.
Cap Kimseng said that at about 10pm on Sunday, Mr Cheng was driving the car around the city when the victim spotted it.
“While Mr Yebiao was driving the stolen car, Ms Mom, who had searched for her car since Saturday, saw it and alerted police,” he noted. “The suspect was arrested later that day.”
Major Ith Mab, city police administration department chief, confirmed yesterday that Mr Cheng was released on Monday after police found that he did not have any intention to steal the victim’s car and also after Ms Mom withdrew her lawsuit against him.
Maj Mab said that according to Mr Cheng, on Saturday morning a Chinese friend who was going for a trip to Vietnam left him the keys of his car which he parked near the casino.
He noted that the friend let Mr Cheng use the car and he left the casino to look for it at about 3 pm.
Maj Mab said Mr Cheng however did not know what car his friend had and used the car remote to locate it.
He added that the remote unlocked Ms Mom’s car and Mr Yebiao took it by mistake.