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Ministry of Interior to probe Kampot death

The Ministry of Interior has formed a committee to investigate the mysterious and grisly death of a French woman whose naked body was discovered floating face down in Kampot town’s Kampong Bay estuary, often referred to as the Kampot River, on Sunday.

In Bora, director of the Penal Crime Department at the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday that the investigators assigned to the case were drawn from the national police and authorities in Kampot province. He declined to elaborate on their progress.

“I cannot give any further comment as the investigation is under way,” he said.  

The 25-year-old woman, identified by the French Embassy as Ophélie Begnis, was last seen on Saturday afternoon as she bicycled out of the Les Manguiers resort in Kampot where she was on holiday with two female friends.

When her friends couldn’t find her the next day, they contacted the police, and the body, with wounds to the wrist and head, was located in the water about five kilometres from the resort. A spokesman for the embassy said the victim’s family has been informed, and that embassy officials were working in close cooperation with the Ministry of Interior.

With her friends, Begnis had checked into Les Manguiers, according to a manager there, on February 4. She had planned on leaving the same day authorities retrieved her body from the river. They then sent the corpse to the morgue at Calmette hospital in Phnom Penh.

In Chiva, deputy police commissioner for Kampot, said that provincial police in collaboration with officials from the Ministry of Interior have divided into groups to investigate four locations where they suspect the murder may have taken place.

“It is complicated for us to note the exact location where the murder took place, as the body was floating in the canal with the current in the evening,” he explained.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Sarom at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com
With assistance from Joe Freeman at joseph.freeman@phnompenhpost.com

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