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Four held over fish breeder’s murder

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused fishermen. Photo: Post News

Police in Kandal province’s Ponhear Leu district on Tuesday arrested four men who allegedly killed a fish breeder over a fishing dispute.

Major Penh Vuthy, district deputy police chief, yesterday identified the suspects as Leng Mao, 46, a fish breeder from Kampong Chhnang province, and Leng Sorphoan, 31, Eng Bunthoeun, 27, and Sath Sothearak, 22, all fishermen from Kandal province.

He identified the victim as Choeun Mak, 31, a fish breeder who lived on a floating house on the Mekong river in the district.

Maj Vuthy said that on Friday Mr Mao had an argument with Mr Mak over breeding fish in the river.

He said that at about 9am on Tuesday, Mr Mao invited Mr Sorphoan, Mr Bunthoeun and Mr Sothearak, who were his close friends, to have drinks in Prek Taten commune.

Maj Vuthy said that after they became drunk, Mr Mao told them about his dispute with the victim and asked them for help.

He said that at about 12.30 pm on Tuesday, the four suspects travelled on a fishing boat to see the victim at his floating house.

Maj Vuthy added that when they arrived at the victim’s house, the four men began arguing with Mr Mak.

“During the argument, Mr Mao took a sword and threatened to stab Mr Mak who then grabbed a piece of wood from his boat to defend himself,” he said. “Mr Sorphoan then grabbed a big piece of wood and threw it at the victim’s head, causing him to die.”

Maj Vuthy said that after killing the victim, the suspects fled.

He noted that Mr Mak’s friends later found his body and alerted local police. They also told police about the earlier argument between the victim and Mr Mao.

Maj Vuthy said that at about 1.30pm on Tuesday police arrested the four suspects in the commune. After their arrests, police seized a sword from Mr Mao.

Lieutenant Colonel Keo Phean, Provincial General Crimes Department deputy chief, yesterday said that the four men are being detained at the provincial police headquarters for questioning.

“They are accused of committing intentional murder and face up to 15 years in jail each if convicted,” he said.

He noted that the suspects will be sent to the provincial court today.

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