Cambodia

Six Charged After Alleged Bank Robbery

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Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Kampong Cham provincial court has detained and charged six men for their involvement in an alleged bank robbery last week, officials said Monday.

One man, Sim Kimthan, a senior cashier at the Acleda bank branch where the crime allegedly took place, was charged for organizing the robbery, with five others charged with theft, Um Chanthol, investigating judge for the court, said Monday.

Sim Kimthan has also been charged with theft and for organizing armed men, Um Chanthol said. The suspects face three to 10 years in prison if convicted.

The alleged robbery, which took place last Wednesday, was initially thought to be a hostage crisis, with elite police and other security forces surrounding the bank’s Beak Anlung branch. It was later determined that all six people, including Sim Kimthan and four other employees of the bank, were involved in the alleged crime.

Police now say the hostage situation was staged to cover up the heist.

Acleda bank officials say $50,000 has gone missing from the bank following the alleged robbery, though it remains unclear where the money has gone or who else might have been involved.

Prum Visoth, senior vice president at Acleda, said the bank had filed its own suit with the provincial court, demanding $100,000 in compensation from the defendants. The amount was in part to pay for loss of reputation after staff members allegedly robbed their own bank, he said.
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US Seeking Stronger Ties as Cambodia’s Political Reforms Move Forward​i
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28 August 2014
A senior US diplomat says the country is looking to strengthen ties with Cambodia, now that the opposition has ended a boycott of the National Assembly. “We want to have a good relationship with the nation of Cambodia, the people of Cambodia,” Scot Marciel, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Bureau, told VOA Khmer in an exclusive interview. “We have an interest in a Cambodia that is successful, democratic, more prosperous, enjoying good health, and good education. Again, this is mostly up to the Cambodian people but we want to be supportive because it’s in our interest for Cambodia to be successful.” The US has made a recent diplomatic resurgence in Asia, where China’s influence continues to grow.​ Marciel, who is visiting the country, said Wednesday that Cambodia’s moves toward electoral reforms are encouraging. “I think what we’re looking to see, like the Cambodian people, the people here have made it clear that they would like to see some more reforms some progress on some of the challenges that the Cambodia faces, and we feel the same way,” he said. “We are hopeful that the government and the parliament as it is now seated can move ahead on some of the reforms that people here have called for. We think that would be a positive step.” (Sok Khemara, Washington)

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