ABA Bank ATM Blown Up in Kep Province; Suspect at Large

Police in Kep province are looking for a man who is believed to have blown up an ABA Bank ATM using gas canisters to remove the estimated $10,000 cash inside before speeding away early on Tuesday morning, police officials said.

The suspect, wearing a motorbike helmet, black jacket and camouflage pants, is seen holding a power drill in an 11-second video clip posted online by Fresh News, before he blocks out the ATM’s security cameras using spray paint.

An ABA Bank ATM, right, that was blown up by a suspected thief in Kep City early on Tuesday, and a gas canister police believe was used in the robbery, in photographs posted online to Fresh News

He struck at about 4 a.m., targeting the standalone ATM booth in front of Deli’s restaurant along Street 33A in Kep City’s Kep commune, said Pong Sokheng, deputy provincial police chief.

“After making it explode, the suspect ran away. We are still trying to identify him,” Mr. Sokheng said, adding that authorities said the man appeared to be heavy set and in his 30s.

Police found two gas canisters at the scene, concluding that a bomb was not used to blow up the ATM, he said.

Only one man was seen on security footage, he said. “Witnesses said immediately after the explosion that they saw a man run to a motorbike parked nearby and speed away,” he added.

He estimated that about $10,000 in cash was either burned in the explosion or stolen, although he was unsure how much money the suspect got away with. “The notes at the scene were almost fully burned.”

Kol Sinath, chief of the provincial police’s anti-terrorism bureau, said the crime was a theft, not terrorism, and added that no one was injured during the explosion.

An ABA bank employee who answered the bank’s customer service call line last night said ABA was aware of the incident and had filed a police report. The employee, who declined to provide his name, said he did not know how much money was lost in the explosion.

In March, after a Canadia Bank ATM was blown up in Phnom Penh and the then-municipal governor called for increased security, an ABA Bank officer said the bank had security guards posted at all its ATMs 24 hours a day.

Mr. Sokheng, the deputy police chief, said there was no security guard posted near the Kep ATM early on Tuesday morning.

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