Monday, October 14, 2013

Cambodia: Update--Suspect, 28, Arrested in Separate Attacks on Japanese Tourist, US Expat

According to The Phnom Penh Post, Sok Hok, 28, was apprehended in the capital’s Prampi Makara district following a shoot-out with police on Saturday (October 12) after officers identified the suspect walking with a motorbike bearing the licence plate of a vehicle robbed at gunpoint earlier this month. When they tried to apprehend the suspect, he fired at police, who fired back. Eventually he surrendered.

Sok Hok was member of a gang that had committed eight armed robberies in late September, two of the victims of which included a Japanese tourist and a US expat, although the suspects was not involved in the shooting of the tourist and the expat, both of whom were hospitalized after the separate shootings.

At 1900 hours on September 27, US construction consultant Maurice Law, 57, and his wife, Debbie, were walking home in Chamkar Mon district when two men approached them on a motorcycle, robbed them at gunpoint then shot Maurice in the groin before speeding away. 

The following evening, September 28, at approximately 2000 hours,  Sakiko Takayanagi, a Japanese tourist, was shot in the leg when she resisted a robbery, also by two men on a motorcycle, while walking near the Night Market in Daun Penh district.

COMMENT:  Historically, largely due to political and economic factors, crime in Phnom Penh remains high, with foreign visitors and expats being a major targeting category because of their perceived wealth.

I strongly recommend against resisting an armed robbery in Cambodia or any other country,  for that matter, as crime victims run the risk of being injured or killed. No amount of property is worth your life! 

It is also strongly recommended that all foreign travelers subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before leaving home in the event they become ill or are injured while abroad, particularly in developing countries, as many medical providers may withhold treatment until their ability to pay their bill is corroborated. Such coverage normally runs US$8-10 a day and can be invaluable if foreign victims must be medically evacuated, which can easily cost upwards of US$100,000.