Monthly Archives: September 2011

Too much X-Files

I think this was last Tuesday? I don’t have my Cambodia Daily article handy… Anyway, the video below is of a robbery/murder that happened in broad daylight in Phnom Penh (far from my house!).

The jist of the story, according to a few newspaper articles and hearsay accounts I have, is this: A mother and son had just exchanged $36,000 for riel at a popular market near their home; on their way back they realized they were being followed, hence the crash-landing and the attempt to run away when they came to the market in the video. If you watch closely you can see that a man is there waiting for them; he checks his watch and shifts his moto to watch the road. Just after the mother and son arrive, two men on a moto who were following them also pull up; one robber runs in after her, and apparently succeeds in getting the money away. The son admitted to running away because he was scared (the young man in the white helmet who flees is her son). The mom, however, was not giving up so easy. She runs after them as the robber is getting on the moto behind the driver. A third man comes up and pistol-whips her as she attempts to take the money back. She falls on the ground. When she tries to get up, he shoots her point-blank in the chest. According to the Cambodia Daily, he fired three shots but only one hit her. Then both motos (all three men) drive off– rather slowly, if you ask me, for having just committed murder. The woman continues to lay on the ground– at this point SHE IS ALIVE. People are moving around her; some flee the scene. No one helps her. The video ends at this point, but apparently 10 minutes later the son returned and attempted to take his mom to the hospital via moto. She died en route.

It’s probably obvious to point this out, but clearly the whole thing was planned. The robbers had someone waiting at the home of the victims, they knew approximately what time the mother and son were going to exchange money, and they even brought a weapon– indicating that they were expecting a very large sum of money, people don’t just wave guns around here like they do in America, because Cambodian police do NOT like other people having guns besides them.

Actually, that brings up an interesting point… On the whole, I’ve heard it is extremely difficult to acquire a gun, and that “only police have weapons”.

Police here aren’t exactly top-notch detectives, so it isn’t a surprise that they haven’t turned anything up on this case. But a friend pointed out to me that it is extremely unlikely that the police would have taken so long to show up to the scene of this crime, because on this road there are many traffic stops where the police wait for drivers breaking the law; someone said there may have been police standing 100 meters away, if they were on duty.

Whoever shot that woman did so in cold blood without fear of retribution. The robbers also must have been watching her for some time and had established her habits.

Another theory is that the son was involved, although that doesn’t explain why he told newspapers that he is glad the video got leaked to the internet. He wants many people to see this video and decide for themselves what really happened. The police, on the other hand, were extremely irritated that the video was posted on youtube and facebook.

I do so love conspiracy theories.


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