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Acid victim’s boyfriend sought in Battambang

A man wanted for questioning over a cruel acid attack that killed a 20-year-old woman in Sihanoukville over the weekend has returned to his birthplace in Battambang province, police said yesterday.

Kruy Aing Chheng, 20, a trainee card dealer at the Fortuna Casino and Hotel, died in hospital on Saturday from severe injuries to her face and neck suffered in an attack near the popular Ochheuteal Beach the night before.

Lieutenant Colonel Cheth Vanny, deputy chief of Battambang police, said yesterday that police had agreed to cooperate with Preah Sihanouk provincial police who believed the man had travelled to the northwestern province after the attack.

“I have received a report from them asking for assistance seeking her boyfriend... who they believe is at his birthplace in Battambang province,” he told the Post yesterday.

“We have his name, his photo and know his rough whereabouts. We expect that we will arrest him soon,” Vanny added, without providing further details of the man’s identity or suspected location.

Lieutenant Colonel Kol Phally, deputy chief of Preah Sihanouk police, said he believed the victim’s boyfriend was a person of interest in the case and the attack seemed to have been motivated by jealousy.

“We have already alerted the Battambang provincial police that we want to speak with this man and have asked for their full cooperation,” he said.

The acid attack on Aing Chheng, who had only recently begun working at the casino after moving from Kandal province’s Sa’ang district, was the seventh of its kind in the Kingdom this year, a figure markedly lower than previous years.

The decline in attacks has been attributed in part to the introduction of an acid law that has harsh penalties for attackers; however, not a single person has been charged under the law since its enactment a year ago.

The victim’s family could not be reached for comment yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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