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Fisheries official dies in clash on river

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:

A district fisheries administration chief died and two villagers with him were injured in a clash with illegal fishermen in Prey Veng province on Friday.

Chea Heng, Peam Chor district police chief, said Pin Chan and the villagers went to crack down on illegal electro-fishing. Mr Heng said witnesses spoke of seeing a motor boat with two people fishing illegally.

Mr Chan and the others drove a boat to chase them. The fishermen rammed Mr Chan’s boat twice, causing it to sink.

Mr Chan disappeared under the water and the other two people swam to escape from the fishermen.

“Mr Chan’s body was found on Saturday,” Mr Heng said. “His head had been hit in two places, knocking him unconscious and he died in the water.”

Villager Try Sokit, 29, was seriously injured and villager Khann Try, 58, was less seriously hurt. The fishermen fled in their boat.

“Witnesses said Mr Chan’s head was hit by the propeller of the boat the fishermen used to ram Mr Chan’s boat,” Mr Heng said. “We are investigation this case to find the suspects.”

The incident took place about five kilometres from the border with Vietnam, so he could not say if the illegal fishermen were Cambodian or Vietnamese.

Provincial fisheries administration chief Aun Sinath said Mr Chan had worked as a fishery administration official since the 1980s and was a good person.

Mr Sinath said that on Saturday, he received information from Mr Chan’s office that Mr Chan had an accident while he was cracking down on an illegal fisherman’s boat.

Mr Sinath said the body of Mr Chan was examined by police who then handed it over to Mr Chan’s family to hold a funeral.

“Mr Chan’s body was cremated on Saturday evening,” he said. “We regret that we lost him because he was a good person.”

Mr Sinath said Agriculture and Fishery Administration officials helped with the cost of the funeral. He urged police to investigate the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Provincial police chief Sreng Chea declined to comment.

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