The apparent police officer whose warning shot at the floor struck a pregnant woman while he was demanding money from a gambling den owner last week has been charged and identified as an imposter.
Lieutenant General Rath Sreang, commander of the Phnom Penh military police, identified the suspect yesterday as Bou You Heng, 28.
Lt Gen Sreang said the suspect was arrested in Kampong Cham province on Saturday, five days after he fired a bullet at the floor in a gambling den in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sangke commune.
Lt Gen Sreang added that the suspect, who is unemployed, was charged yesterday with illegal use of a weapon and attempted murder.
Sok Vibol, a Phnom Penh military police officer, said that the suspect disguised himself as a policeman and bought a pistol from the black market to extort money from the gambling den.
“He did not have any real job but disguised himself as a police officer,” he said. “He bought a pistol, a police radio and police uniform from the black market in Phnom Penh in order to extort money from those who have illegally opened online gambling shops or other illegal gambling dens in the city.”
Mr Vibol said the suspect admitted to disguising himself on August 14 to extort the owner of the gambling den, who has also since been arrested.
When the suspect requested $10 to allow the gambling den to remain open, the owner refused and the suspect fired a bullet at the floor, which ricocheted and hit an innocent pregnant woman nearby.
The woman was sent to hospital and has since recovered, Mr Vibol said.
After the shooting, the suspect fled to Kampong Cham province, Mr Vibol said.