RELATIVES of a man who drowned after fleeing a police raid on illegal cockfighting say officers refused to save him and threatened to shoot anyone who did.
The death followed a military police raid on a cockfighting arena in Kandal province’s Prek Phnouv commune that also saw five people arrested.
The deceased man’s brother, Chan Si Thea, said that police watched as his brother drowned and used threats and physical force to stop him from attempting any kind of rescue.
“They not only failed to help my brother but also beat my stomach with a metal pole and threatened to shoot me if I tried to jump into the water to save my brother,” he said.
“Then immediately after they saw that my brother had drowned, they drove their cars away without taking any responsibility for him.”
He identified his brother as 23-year-old Chan Sophea.
Another witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Post that provincial military police fired shots into the air and threatened to shoot anyone trying to save the drowning fugitive.
Raid follows PM’s warning
The police chief of Prek Phnouv commune, Bun Sang, refused to comment on the circumstances of the man’s death.
But he confirmed that five people, including Pen Tara, the wife of a local police officer, had been arrested.
Pen Tara’s husband, Cheng Soknat, is a major in the Central Security Department of the Ministry of Interior and is the owner of the building in which the raid took place, Bun Sang said.
The raid came just a day after Prime Minister Hun Sen strongly condemned all forms of illegal gambling in a speech aimed at district governors.
“I beg everyone to close their gambling operations, even the cockfighting arena of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An,” Hun Sen said on Tuesday.