Three Thai Escapees Charged, Jailed Over Car Theft

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A traffic police officer in Phnom Penh on September 15, 2020. (VOD)

Three Thai nationals suspected of being detained and sold by a casino have been charged with theft after they were arrested trying to drive back home.

The three Thai workers were being transported from Kandal to Preah Sihanouk last Wednesday when they took the car while the driver stepped out to urinate. They were stopped in Takeo province and arrested.

“They didn’t have a single cent and they had only plastic bags of clothes,” said Takeo province’s Tram Kak district police deputy Sok Sochea last week. “They don’t have passports. They could have been cheated, and, simply, I think they have been sold.”

On Monday, Keo Sokunthea, spokesman for the Takeo provincial prosecution, said the three Thai nationals had been sent to prison.

“The prosecutor opened the questioning on Saturday, and the three Thais have been charged with stealing and illegally crossing [the border],” Sokunthea said. The crimes are punishable by six months to three years in jail and three to six months in jail, respectively.

“We have sent the case to the judge, and he has already been sent to prison,” he said.

The district’s police chief, Duk Thiya, said last week that the three Thai nationals arrested were a 20-year-old man from Bangkok who had come to Cambodia in November 2021; a 27-year-old man from Chonburi who came in April 2021, and a 29-year-old woman from Samut Sakhon who arrived in 2015, all via Poipet. He said at the time that he did not know the name of the casino that the three had been trying to escape from, but they were working “online” and there was a “broker” involved.

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