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Taxi man denies gold theft

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Taxi driver Hour Sokleng is standing trial for theft. Supplied

A 30-year-old taxi driver went on trial yesterday accused of stealing 39 gold ingots and $20,000 from a gold vendor in Kampong Speu province last year.

Hour Sokleng, of Kampong Speu province’s Chbar Mon city, was charged by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor with breach of trust.

The victim was Lim Sok Eng, 29, also of Chbar Mon city.

Municipal court judge Y Thavrieak said Ms Sok Eng told police that Mr Sokleng had stolen the 39 ingots of gold worth $1,200 a piece, and $20,000, after she asked him to deliver a package.

Ms Sok Eng told the judge yesterday that she had known Mr Sokleng for many years.

Since Mr Sokleng worked as a taxi driver, she often used him to send items from Kampong Speu province to her clients in Phnom Penh.

She said that on the morning of May 26 last year, she sent the gold and the money via Mr Sokleng to her friend who was a client and a gold vendor in Phnom Penh.

“When I later contacted the recipient, she confirmed that she had not received them,” she told the court. “I tried to contact him but I could not get in touch with him.

“Later on, I met him while he was driving in Phnom Penh but my gold and money had been lost.”

She demanded Mr Sokleng refund her gold and money plus $40,000 in compensation.

Mr Sokleng denied the allegations. He said that he did not steal the victim’s property.

He said it was looted from his car while he parked at a taxi station in Tuol Kork district.

He asked the court to drop his charges and free him.

The verdict is due on October 26.

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