Authorities in Kampong Thom province are hunting for a meth-fuelled, illegal timber smuggler who hit and killed two teenagers on a motorbike on Monday with his SUV in Stung Sen town.
A town police officer confirmed the accident and said that the driver of the SUV fled the scene, leaving behind a haul of illegal timber in the vehicle.
Kampong Thom court spokesman Say Nora said that the driver was likely using drugs while driving and managed to escape in his associate’s car.
“The chief prosecutor went directly to the scene. The culprit was whisked away after the accident by his associate in another vehicle, according to the witnesses,” he said. “So, only the SUV and illegal wood was left at the scene.”
“The police found drugs in the SUV and a pipe for smoking meth,” he added.
Mr Nora said the SUV probably hit the motorbike from behind and dragged the victims along the road. The pair might have survived if they had not been dragged.
“One died at the scene and the other one died on the way to the hospital,” he said.
The victims have been identified as Noeun Neth, 17, and Seup, 17. “The case is hard to investigate because the SUV licence plate is not genuine, but let the traffic police work on this,” Mr Nora said.
“Usually, vehicles used for committing crimes use fake licence plates and keep installing and uninstalling different plates to confuse the police.”
Mr Nora could not confirm where the SUV was heading or the identity of the criminals involved.
“We don’t know exactly where the car was heading to, but according to the direction, it can go to Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham,” he said. “We can identify the SUV driver only when we can arrest him.”
Mr Nora added that associates usually follow the haul of illegal timber in case the transporter runs into any trouble, which in this case was a fatal accident.
“The big boss never comes,” he said. “They hire people to do the transportation.”
The SUV and the timber was seized, and the bodies of the victims sent to their families for funerals, Mr Nora added.