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Investigation opened after drugs officer gunned down

Amurder investigation has been launched following the death of a provincial drug squad police officer in an apparent robbery in Kampong Cham, police said on Tuesday.

Yuk Rath Mony, 41, was an Anti-Drug Trafficking Bureau officer from the Boeung Kok commune in Kampong Cham.

Police said they believe he was shot and beaten in an unknown location before his body was dumped and locked in his personal black Lexus in the Choeung Prey district, around 100 metres from the national road, on Monday. He was shot six times, police said: four times in the chest and twice in the hands. Investigating officers have ruled out the possibility that the crime was related to his role with the anti-drug trafficking squad.

Provincial Police Chief Nuon Samin said his department had concluded the murder was part of a robbery.

“We have some leads to identify suspects,” he said, adding they believed Yuk Rath Mony was attacked by a group of two to three people, who have yet to be formally identified by the police.

“We cannot disclose who they are,” Nuon Samin said.

Sor Ros, a provincial police chief of the Anti-Drug Trafficking Bureau, confirmed the victim was a subordinate at his department. “We have primarily concluded his death was [part of] a robbery due to testimony from his family,” he said.

The victim’s wife told police he was driving to an appointment with a land broker to purchase more land and was carrying a large amount of cash at the time of the killing.

Noun Samin said the victim had recently sold a plot of land in Siem Reap.

“We don’t know how much [of the victim’s] cash has disappeared from the robbery. We are investigating,” he said.

Police were informed of Yuk Rath Mony’s death by local villagers at around noon on Monday after noticing the victim’s body locked inside his Lexus.

When police arrived they found little cash in his pocket, but the victim’s jewellery – including a necklace, bracelet and ring – had not been touched.

“His death may be related to his business as a fruit importer from Vietnam, or it could be related to a partner in his buying and selling of land,” Sor Ros said.

“We haven’t received any factual information yet and the investigation is ongoing. I am very regretful for the loss of my man. I firmly hope that we can start arresting suspects very soon for prosecution,” the police official said.

“He didn’t come to work regularly to help crack down on drug crime, as he was too busy with his outside business which makes more money.”
The victim had never had problems with his fellow officers within the police team, Sor Ros added.

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