A Ratanakiri provincial police officer was yesterday arrested after he brazenly shot dead a fellow officer and friend in broad daylight for having an affair with his wife.
Brigadier General Phen Dina, provincial deputy police chief, yesterday identified him as Nuon Makara, 31, who is with the provincial anti-economic crime bureau.
He identified the victim as Phon Tum, 30, who was the deputy chief of the provincial criminal investigation division.
Brig Gen Dina noted that the incident happened at around 9am at a café in Banlung city. He said Mr Makara walked up to the victim and shot him in the head.
“After shooting his friend with a K59 pistol, Mr Makara immediately drove his pickup truck with another man inside and fled the scene,” he said. “Villagers reported the shooting and we began searching for Mr Makara for nearly two hours before finding him sitting alone and drinking beer at Yeak Lom Lake. He acted like nothing had happened.”
A villager, who declined to be named, said she witnessed the arrest of Mr Makara.
She said she lives near Yeak Lom Lake and saw Mr Makara making a phone call to the police to report what he did and asking them to come and arrest him.
“He [Mr Makara] was so aggressive. He shot a man then he went to sit down at the port number four of Yeak Lom Lake. He called police and asked them to arrest him,” she said. “I know that he is also a policeman. He was so indifferent to admit his action.”
Brig Gen Dina noted that Mr Makara confessed to shooting Mr Tum because of personal issues, in particular the love affair.
He added that Banlung city police are now looking for other people who might have been involved in the case and are questioning people regarding the love affair between Mr Tum and Mr Makara’s wife.
In a video clip shared on Facebook, Mr Makara, who had been handcuffed by police, was recorded as saying he shot the victim solely because of hatred.
“I will not run anywhere. Please handcuff me… No others are involved in this. I will walk into jail. I wanted to shoot myself dead as well. But I pity my mother. I did not want her to cry,” Mr Makara told police.
A police report obtained yesterday said Mr Makara was detained at the provincial police office and his pickup was confiscated.
In an audio recording attached with the report, a provincial police officer claimed that Mr Tum had an affair with Mr Makara’s wife, who recently separated from her husband.
“Most people living here have known that Mr Tum stole Mr Makara’s wife. They were trapped in a love triangle for a while,” the officer noted. “Mr Makara usually joined workshops in other provinces and the wife cheated on him.”
“They were both friends but Mr Tum also use to taunt Mr Makara over the affair. I think he could not take it any longer and decided to kill Mr Tum,” the officer added. “Most villagers here knew what was happening between them but did not think he would do this.”