Kandal Provincial Court yesterday charged three men who allegedly stole 26 small Buddha statues from a temple in the province on Thursday night.
Major General Eav Chamroeun, provincial police chief, identified them as Eng Sopheak, 26, Khun Menghak, 17, and Run Sopheap, 17. All three lived in Takhmao city’s Prek Hoycommune.
He said the accused were charged with theft and face up to two years in jail each if convicted. They are now in prison pending trial.
Captain Sok Chenda, a city penal police officer, yesterday said that at about midnight on Thursday, the three men entered the Prek Hoy pagoda while monks and students were sleeping. He said they stole 26 small Buddha statues made from silver.
Cap Chenda said Mr Sopheak, Mr Menghak and Mr Sopheap then sold the statues to the owner of a shop selling Buddhist and ancient Khmer artefacts in the city.
He said the accused were arrested on Friday at their houses in Prek Hoy commune after police discovered the stolen goods in the shop and the owner identified them.
Cap Chenda noted that police seized the stolen statues and returned them to the pagoda’s chief monk.