Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Multiple suspects arrested over grenade attack, but police offer few details

Multiple suspects arrested over grenade attack, but police offer few details

People gather at the scene of a grenade attack earlier this month in Phnom Penh.
People gather at the scene of a grenade attack earlier this month in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Multiple suspects arrested over grenade attack, but police offer few details

Police have arrested at least five suspects over the past two days in connection to a grenade attack that rattled a Phnom Penh neighbourhood two weeks ago, injuring four people, but officials yesterday remained tight-lipped as to the suspects’ identities and motives.

Sok Khemarin, chief of the Ministry of Interior’s penal police department, said yesterday that authorities had five suspects in custody, but that only three or four of them were likely involved in the crime. Khemarin’s account of the arrests was corroborated by a Phnom Penh municipal police officer, who was part of the team that made the arrests.

“During the operation [Tuesday] and [yesterday], we arrested five suspects that are involved in the grenade attack on Street 163,” he said on condition of anonymity. “They were sent to the National Police headquarters for questioning.”

Prior to yesterday’s arrests, security personnel professed to having essentially no leads on the September 6 grenade blast in the capital’s Boeung Keng Kang III commune.

Security camera footage of the explosion showed the grenade being dropped from a passing motorbike, then exploding on the driver’s side of a white Lexus SUV as it passed seconds later.

The blast – which injured four individuals and damaged three other cars – was initially chalked up as a case of revenge by the police. However, a day after the explosion, National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith suggested it was an attempt to affect Cambodia’s security.

Reached yesterday, Chantharith said that he was unaware of the details of the arrests because he was away from the capital, referring questions instead to Phnom Penh police chief Chhoun Sovann, who could not be reached.

Speaking to local media earlier in the day, Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the case was related to a love triangle, and that police were again pursuing it as a case of “revenge”.

While Sopheak could not be reached yesterday, there was a flurry of activity at the Interior Ministry, with families of those arrested attempting to locate them.

A Singaporean man was overheard demanding to meet his Vietnamese wife, who had been arrested late on Tuesday night and kept at the Ministry of Interior. However, a police officer, who was involved in the questioning, informed him that his wife had “masterminded” the attack, while refusing to divulge any other details.

“Your wife had a boyfriend. She planned the grenade attack to get revenge,” the police officer could be heard saying, adding that seven people had been arrested, of which three were Vietnamese.

However, the man, who declined to identify himself to a reporter, denied his wife had any involvement.

Another woman looking for her husband – a security guard at the Borey Chamkarmon gated residential community – was told that her husband would be produced in court today over his involvement in the attack. The woman declined to comment on the matter and, in a surprising move, was herself taken into custody a short time later for her alleged involvement in the case.

Officials present at the ministry, however, refused to comment.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially