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Siem Reap police nab artefact theft suspects

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Siem Reap provincial heritage police arrested two suspects for trying to steal artefacts and confiscated their detector tool. POLICE

Siem Reap police nab artefact theft suspects

Siem Reap provincial heritage protection police have been questioning two men who were arrested on December 13 in the Preah Khan temple area on suspicion of trying to steal artefacts.

Ket Bunthan, director of the Heritage Protection Police Department, said the two suspects, aged 28 and 36, will be sent to court.

“Our authorities are questioning these two suspects. We will know if they will be charged in court after questioning,” he said.

A heritage protection police officer who asked not to be named said that at around 10am on December 12, his forces patrolled around and inside the Preah Khan Temple and came across two pairs of suspects on two motorcycles with artefact detection tool. The police chased the suspects but two of them managed to escape.

Among the evidence confiscated were two detection tools, a black mobile phone, two long-knives, one pickaxe, a battery and a black backpack.

Apsara National Authority spokesman Long Kosal said any enforcement activity related to artefacts falls under the authority of the heritage protection police.

“If we receive information about a crime, the Apsara National Authority will provide it to the heritage protection police to make arrests. We have done this [collaboration] regularly,” he said.

Bunthan did not respond to a request for further comment on December 14.

Siem Reap Provincial Court spokesperson Chhuon Sopanha said on December 14 that the two suspects had not been sent to court.

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