Arrests Made in Cosmetic Seller Theft Case, Politician Reportedly Among Suspects

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An armed military police guard stands in front of a house where 12 people including Khmer Rise Party president William Guang were arrested on Sunday, in a photo posted by Phnom Penh Military Police on December 20, 2021. (Facebook)

Military police officials arrested 12 individuals linked to a robbery at the home of an online cosmetics seller in Phnom Penh, with local media reports identifying small party founder Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung as one of the arrested people.

Phnom Penh Military Police announced Monday night on Facebook that they had conducted an operation that nabbed 12 people who were allegedly involved in a robbery at the home of Ean Sivmey, a popular cosmetics seller, in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district. 

Police and local officials were reluctant to speak about the case despite the story being splashed all over local media outlets. Military police spokesperson Eng Hy only confirmed the arrests from Sunday night but said he could not comment on an ongoing investigation. 

“The case is currently being processed against the suspects and we have retrieved all the [stolen] materials,” Eng Hy said. “I cannot tell more details now.”

Phnom Penh Municipal Police spokesperson San Sokseyha only confirmed that the robbery took place on Sunday and that three diamond necklaces had been stolen, with a combined value of around $2 million.

It occurred at Borey Moon Town in Pur Senchey district at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, he added, refusing to comment on Tuesday’s arrests. 

Phnom Penh military police chief Rath Sreang and Meanchey district police Meng Vimeanpheap could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. 

Government-friendly Fresh News reported that Khmer Rise Party president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung, popularly known as William Guang, was one of the 12 arrested people and that he had confessed to the robbery. 

Sabung can be identified in photographs of Monday’s arrests posted by the military police, with the arrests taking place at a lavish villa in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, not far from Hun Sen Boulevard. 

The political leader was part of the Supreme Consultative Council — a seemingly consultative body created to include all small political parties that did not win a single seat at the 2018 election — but fell out of favor and was removed from the council after he demanded the government investigate a land dispute in Preah Sihanouk province.

VOD could not reach William Guang on Tuesday. 

Sivmey, who often boasts of her wealth by posing with her Lamborghini, was sued for defamation earlier this year amid complaints of insulting people in her livestreams.

She was sued by Meas Sovannratana who is a product distributor for rival cosmetics tycoon Try Dana, who alleged that Sivmey had accused her of trying to copy her brand.

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