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Charges laid over multiple murders

KANDAL provincial court yesterday charged two suspects in connection with the murder of three women on the final day of Pchum ben festivities in Tahkmao district last month.

The three victims, all women, were found shot dead on the morning of October 9 in a the Bopha Kampoul Phnom Restaurant and Coffee shop adjoinging their home.

They were identified as 47-year-old Sok Koeu, her daughter, 24-year-old Seng Muoy Kea, and a 17-year-old waitress whom police would not name.

Provincial prosecutor Ouk Kimseth said yesterday that the court had officially charged Sok Koeu’s 44-year-old nephew Sok Seng, and former soldier Toan Sarom, 30, with intentional murder. Both men are serving pretrial detention at Kandal provincial prison.

“Our investigations are ongoing,” he said.

Iv Chamroeun, the provincial police chief, said that police were still on the hunt for a third suspect: Bun Vuthy, 27.

He said Sok Seng was arrested in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, and Toan Sarom was arrested in Kandal’s Ang Snuol district. Both men were arrested on Wednesday.

“According to our investigation and from the testimony of the suspects, Sok Seng killed his aunt, her daughter and the waitress after Sok Koeu did not give him US$2,000 to borrow,” he said.

He said, according to the confession from Sok Seng, that the trio went to visit his aunt to request the loan on October 8, which was approved by her daughter, but who said she would have to wait for her mother to return from the markets. However, when Sok Koeu returned to the house she refused the loan.

“Sok Seng then asked his colleagues, who were waiting outside, to rob her,” he said.

They then tied up all three victims and demanded the money, but Sok Koeu refused though she had $10,000 hidden under her mattress.

Sok Seng then used Toan Sarom’s gun to shoot all three women in the head, before the men fled the scene on motorbikes and making off with “some cash and jewellery”.

“We already know Bun Vuthy’s identity, and we are continuing to seek his whereabouts,” Iv Chamroeun said.

He said Sok Seng had previously served a total of 15 years in prison after being found guilty of murder in Kampong Speu province. He was released from Prey Sar prison last year.

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