Authorities have arrested a suspected band of thieves over the hijacking of a container truck carrying trousers that were destined for Sihanoukville, where they were to be shipped overseas, police said on Sunday.
Sok Khemrin, head of the Interior Ministry’s penal department, said 10 people were arrested in Kompong Speu province’s Chbar Mon City early on Saturday morning. However, police later found that only nine were involved. The driver of the container, who helped coordinate the heist, is still at large, he added.
“The driver went along with the others and drove the container to the drop site to let those people get the clothes out of the container,” he said. “When they were committing their crime, we found them both together.”
Mr. Khemrin said the trousers left Phnom Penh at about 10 p.m. on Friday night. When the driver got to Chbar Mon City, he headed for a secluded dumpsite where his accomplices unloaded 101 pairs of trousers before being caught. He said the suspects were already on the radar of authorities, who suspected them of being involved in a recent spike in apparel heists.
“It has happened many times already, and our authorities will not let them keep doing things like this,” he said. All nine men were being detained at the Interior Ministry’s penal police department, and will be sent to the municipal court today, he added.
Kompong Speu provincial police chief Sam Samuon said 20 of his police officers participated in the operation, and that the trousers were returned to their source factory.
“We handed over the container and the goods to its owners already,” he said.
In June, a group who hijacked a container filled with 10,000 Puma-brand trousers were forced to abandon their loot when police caught up to them in Kompong Speu province, where they escaped into a forest.
sony@cambodiadaily.com
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