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Officers drown in line of duty

Two police officers drowned early yesterday morning while in pursuit of illegal fishermen in Kampong Chhnang province.

Hol Veasna, police chief of Kampong Tralach district, said the police boat was chasing a vessel that was using banned fishing equipment when the two boats collided, causing the police boat to capsize with three officers and the boat’s driver on board.

“The driver of the boat could swim, but two of the police officers could not, so they drowned,” Veasna said.

The policemen who drowned have been identified as Kampong Tralach commune police chief Mey Saran, 52, and Sam Vey, 34, who worked as an officer in the same commune.

Seng Bun Chhern, chief of the fishery administration in the province, said he was saddened by the event and applauded the bravery of the police officers in the area.

“We are sorry to hear about this. They have been active in helping us crack down on illegal fishing, always making themselves available to come with us and try and find [illegal fishermen],” he said.

Police are now searching for the suspects aboard the fishing boat involved in the collision.

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