$50,000 Missing as Suspected Bank Robbers Face Court

Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Kampong Cham provincial court on Friday began questioning six men suspected in an apparent bank robbery earlier this week.

None of the six suspects has been officially charged, after they were arrested late Wednesday, in what police had originally thought was a hostage crisis.

Alceda bank authorities say they now believe some $50,000 has gone missing from the Kampong Cham branch that the six suspects—five of them bank employees—allegedly set out to rob. It is unclear where the money could have gone or if other people were involved.

Provincial court prosecutor Hout Wuthy said three suspects were questioned Friday and three more would be questioned Saturday. No official charges are expected until after they are questioned, he said.

Botched Bank Job Masterminded by Employee With Debt, Police Sayi
25 January 2013
Police say they now consider the enacted hostage crisis in Kampong Cham province Wednesday a hoax, masterminded by an employee of a local bank who was in debt and wanted to rob his own bank. ​(VOA Khmer Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh.)

Police have said that one suspect, Sim Kimthan, a chief cashier at the Acleda bank branch that was targeted, was deeply in debt and likely led the operation.

Prum Visoth, senior vice president at Acleda, said $50,000 has been found missing at the branch. The bank will file suit against the former bank employees, he said. “We need them to face the law and need compensation for what we lost,” he said.
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