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Fishermen killed by own illegal equipment in Mondulkiri

Two fishermen died in a suspected electrocution this week while fishing using illegal equipment in a river in Mondulkiri’s Koh Nhek district, police said yesterday.

According to district police officer Sok Tha, Rayar village security guards – who initially spotted only a vacant boat and fishing equipment – discovered the body of Cambodian national Kun Kin, 30, floating on the river about 600 metres from the boat at about 7am on Tuesday.

Forty-seven-year-old Lao national Bay Loh was found 400 metres farther downstream.The duo, who had gone fishing at 8pm the previous day, were believed to have been “electrocuted by the equipment”.

“They died because they used electric shock to fish in the wrong way,” Tha said, referring to an illegal fishing method that employs electricity to momentarily stun and capture fish. “We often educate villagers not to use electric shock, but some still do it.”

“This is their carelessness,” Koh Nhek district police chief Khlouth Sokhea said of the duo, whose bodies have since been claimed by their families for their funerals.

This is not the first time illegal fishing misadventures have cost lives this year.

Two men were killed in Preah Sihanouk province this January when a homemade bomb designed to annihilate fish malfunctioned and exploded onboard.

In the same month, a farmer in Tbong Khmun province was killed when a mixture of coal and petrol exploded while he was manufacturing an explosive for the same purpose.

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