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Siem Reap monk imposters held

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
A file photo of monks charged with a crime. Supplied

Siem Reap Provincial Court yesterday charged two men for impersonating monks to collect alms.

Plong Sophal, a Siem Reap provincial police officer, identified the two men as Thai Than, 34, and Pheang Saem, 34, both from Prey Veng province. They were arrested on Tuesday.

“They were charged by the provincial court’s prosecutor with fraud and unauthorised wearing of Buddhist robes,” said Mr Sophal.

He added that the pair faces six months to three years in prison if convicted. Siem Reap city deputy police chief Nuon Sakchamroeun said that on Tuesday morning the two suspects wore Buddhist robes and disguised themselves as monks.

They then walked from home to home collecting alms from villagers, earning from $5 to $20 per house by claiming the money was to be used to construct a temple on the outskirts of the province.

Some villagers became suspicious of the men, noting they had not seen them before, and asked for their ID cards and monk documentation, which they failed to produce. Those villagers then notified police.

After their arrests, police confiscated Buddhist robes, one motorbike and money from the suspects, Mr Sakchamroeun said.

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