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Police arrest another suspected KNLF member

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
Police arrest suspected KNLF member Peng Sokha. Fresh News

Phnom Penh police yesterday arrested another suspected Khmer National Liberation Front member over the trafficking of illegal firearms in a plot to overthrow the government.

Por Senchey district police chief Colonel Yim Saran identified the suspect as Peng Sokha, 49, a security guard working in Kampong Speu province.

He said police arrested Mr Sokha in Por Senchey’s Kakab commune yesterday morning and quickly transferred him to the Interior Ministry’s department for combatting terrorism and transnational crime.

Department chief Lieutenant General Y Sokhy said yesterday the arrest was made based on a court warrant issued after police identified Mr Sokha as suspect involved in the trafficking of illegal firearms in a KNLF plot to overthrow the government.

Prior to his arrest, Mr Sokha said in a one-minute video posted on Facebook yesterday that his brother was among 11 suspected KNLF members arrested and charged last month for trafficking illegal firearms.

“We got him and police are questioning him now,” Col Saran said. “The case is still under investigation, so I cannot comment further.”

Police have now arrested a total of 12 suspects believed to be connected to the KNLF and its most recent plot to overthrow the government.

Police have also confiscated 29 AK-47 assault rifles, one handgun, and a number of explosives and ammunition. No explosives were found during Mr Sokha’s arrest.

Exiled KNLF president Sam Serey has repeatedly denied accusations of a plot to overthrow the government.

Mr Serey yesterday denied that Mr Sokha is a KNLF member and stressed that his group does not have firearms.

“It is not true and I am tired of people trying to slander me,” he said. “I have no money so how can I buy firearms?”

Since 2014, about 20 KNLF members have been convicted of incitement and plotting to topple the government. They received sentences of one to ten years in jail.

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