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‘Mastermind’ of Sun Sotha affair arrested

The alleged mastermind behind a plot to rape and murder the wife of a prominent Cambodian official was arrested by Thai Interpol authorities on Monday.

Lay Huong, the 49-year-old ex-wife of Khaou Phallaboth, eldest son of businessman Khaou Chuly, has not yet been sent back to Cambodia, according to Chhay Bunna, chief of the Poipet International Checkpoint at the Cambodian-Thai border.

In October 2012, A Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge convicted Huong in absentia and sentenced her to life imprisonment for her role in an attempted rape and premeditated murder.

“Our Cambodian Interpol has received information from the Thai side that she has been arrested by Thai Interpol,” said Lim Sokha Reaksmey, chief of the Ministry of Interior’s Inter Police Department.

“However, I did not receive any official report or letter from the Thai side yet.”

In 2011, Chuly’s wife, Seng Chenda, along with maids Chan Sokha and Neang Sinath, and security guard Sok Lak, were convicted in Phnom Penh Municipal Court of orchestrating an ultimately failed plot to assassinate Chenda’s stepdaughter, Sun Sotha – the wife of then-public works minister Sun Chanthol – as well as Sotha’s 9-year-old daughter in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district.

Chanthol, now the commerce minister, said in 2012 that he had an audio recording of Chuly admitting that Chenda had enlisted the help of her aides under the order of Huong to carry out the deed.

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith and Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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