A high-ranking military official was arrested yesterday by Phnom Penh police over the shooting of a taxi driver whom he accused of taking a longer route to gain a higher fare.
Keo Piseth, a Phnom Penh police officer, identified the suspect as Colonel Pen Sayon, 35, a military officer with the technical and logistics department at the Ministry of Defence.
Mr Piseth said the suspect was arrested at about 3am yesterday and identified the victim as Chum Kea, 40.
He said that the suspect hailed the taxi at about 2.30am after leaving a nightclub drunk in Chamkarmon district.
On the way to his home in Dangkor district, the military officer suspected the taxi driver was taking a longer route in order to gain a larger fare, said Mr Piseth.
Mr Piseth said the suspect got angry, demanded that the taxi driver stop and attempted to walk away without paying, which led to an argument.
“He was angry at the victim for driving around to gain a larger fare and then trying to force him to pay,” said Mr Piseth. “He then withdrew a pistol from his waist and fired a bullet at the victim, striking him on the right hip.”
After shooting the victim, the suspect fled but was later arrested by local police in 7 Makara district. The victim was sent to Calmette Hospital for treatment and was recovering.
After the suspect’s arrest, police confiscated his pistol and some ammunition, as well as his military ID card.
Mr Piseth said the suspect remained detained at the municipal police headquarters for further questioning and was accused of illegal weapons use and intentional acts of violence.
The suspect was due to make his first court appearance today.