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Car-chase official on gun charge

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV after heavy drinking. Fresh News

A high-ranking government official was charged yesterday with possessing an unauthorised weapon after allegedly threatening to kill a traffic policeman.

Mao Chanreaksmey, 41, deputy director of the technical and housing department with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, was arrested on Tuesday.

Police said he made the threat in anger when officers stopped and inspected his car after an accident in Chamkar Mon district.

He was charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court with unauthorised holding of a weapon and faces up to six months in prison if convicted.

Municipal court clerk Long Sopheak said Mr Chanreaksmey was still being questioned by the investigating judge and would be detained in prison today.

Mr Sopheak did not provide any details about the case, but police reported earlier that Mr Chanreaksmey drove his Toyota Highlander car while drunk on Tuesday on Street 488 in Phsar Doeum Thkov commune.

He hit a car driven by Hun Samsen Oudom, 35, from behind, causing slight damage. Mr Chanreaksmey stopped his car but did not get out. He fell asleep in a drunken state.

Mr Samsen Oudom called police on duty nearby for help.

“When the traffic officer knocked his car door to wake him up, Mr Chanreaksmey pulled a pistol from the car and pointed it at the policeman. He threatened to shoot the policeman,” a police officer said after the incident. After threatening to kill the policeman, the accused fled in the car and was chased by police on motorbikes for half an hour.

Mr Chanreaksmey was arrested the same evening in Tuol Tumpoung I commune.

Police confiscated a pistol and ammunition from him and seized a car.

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