Santuk district police in Kampong Thom province on Thursday arrested a man who splashed acid on his ex-fiancée after he drank some because her parents broke off their engagement.
Mao Chanthy, deputy district police chief, yesterday identified the suspect as Soeung Veasna, 30, from Prey Veng province, and the victim as Yorng Sophal, 21, from the district.
Mr Chanty said Mr Veasana and Ms Sophal were engaged for about a year, noting that her parents called off the engagement on Wednesday and forbade the suspect from seeing her again.
He said that at about 10.30am on Thursday, Mr Veasana went to Ms Sophal’s house where he drank some acid from a bottle and splashed the remainder on her face and hands.
Mr Chanty noted that the suspect then fell unconscious as the victim suffered severe burns.
He said that the girl’s parents and villagers immediately took both of them to the provincial referral hospital, where Mr Veasana remains in critical condition and Ms Sophal is recovering.
“On Thursday, the suspect took a bottle filled with about 30ml of acid and went to see his ex-fiancée,” Mr Chanty said. “He drank some and doused her with the remainder, causing serious injuries.”
He noted that on Thursday afternoon, Ms Sophal’s parents reported the incident to police.
“The family told us that the victim’s condition is not life-threatening, but she is disfigured and still cannot open both eyes,” Mr Chanty said. “The suspect, however, is in critical condition and doctors are trying to save his life.”
“If he recovers, he will be charged with attempted murder,” he added.
Mr Chanty said that this is the first case of an acid attack in the district and urged people to solve problems in a non-violent way.
In April, a woman was arrested in Kampong Cham province for allegedly pouring acid on her husband because she was angry with him over an affair.
The Cambodian Acid Survivor’s Charity recently reported that acid attacks in the Kingdom have declined in recent years, with only six reported cases in 2014 compared with 36 in 2010.
It credited the decline to the stringent Law on Regulating Concentrated Acid, which was passed in 2012 and lays out harsh penalties for a variety of crimes related to the malicious use of acid.