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Businesses Warned To Be Wary of Hold-Ups

Phnom Penh authorities have deployed more police to prevent robberies in the capital’s businesses, but city leaders also say businesses will have to vigilant for their own security.

Robbers have begun targeting local businesses in recent months, including the stickup of an Internet café in the city two weeks ago.

Muggers continue to ply the streets, but police have been deployed to protect the security of businesses.

“The police came to my place to advise me to be more careful with suspicious clients,” said a manager of a restaurant, who asked not to be named, in Beoung Keng Kong II, where a daylight robbery took place recently.

“The commune authorities advised me to put up cameras in my shop for security,” said the owner of a beauty salon near the Deli Café, where Internet-surfing clients were robbed last month. “They said they would deal better with the robbery.”

“Authorities are being deployed on the streets and are advising people, especially shop or restaurant owners, to be more cautious,” said Uk Phan, Beoung Keng Kong II commune chief, himself a victim of the Deli Café robbery.

Chhay Srun, Deli Café’s manager, said that apart from the authority’s advice on tougher security he had not been updated on the investigation of the robbery.

Licadho rights investigator Am Sam Ath said robbers have changed their targets from motorcyclists on the streets to clients or customers in shops or restaurants.

“Before, most of the robbery cases occur on the streets, but now robbers just wait in restaurants, shops or garages and rob the clients,” he said.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chheoun said the authorities have enough mechanisms to provide security for the people.

“We have from municipal- to the local-level security units, so we have provided good security and order,” he said. “But, to provide perfect security, no country on Earth can guarantee that.”