Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official’s ‘fake’ fall fires up FB

Official’s ‘fake’ fall fires up FB

A car accident allegedly faked by an immigration police official in Bantaey Meanchey’s Poipet town on Thursday. Photo supplied.
A car accident allegedly faked by an immigration police official in Bantaey Meanchey’s Poipet town on Thursday. Photo supplied.

Official’s ‘fake’ fall fires up FB

A Banteay Meanchey unionist and opposition official was charged with attempted murder on Saturday for allegedly hitting an immigration police official with his car, though eyewitness accounts and video of the incident appeared to show otherwise, setting off an outpouring of social media ridicule.

According to a police report, Mang Puthy, head of Poipet Town’s Cambodia Informal Economy Reinforced Association, had blocked a bridge near the border checkpoint on Thursday evening, when deputy immigration police officer Chhean Pisith asked him to move his car. This is when Puthy allegedly hit Pisith with his car, causing him to faint.

Puthy was then detained by police for two days for questioning, then charged and sent to provincial prison on Saturday, while Pisith is reportedly receiving treatment in a Thai hospital.

However, a video of the incident shows Puthy in a stationary SUV with Pisith standing at the front right corner of the car.

Though the car does not move, Pisith suddenly collapses to the ground, as if struck in the head. The video found its way to Facebook, where multiple users alleged that Pisith had faked the fall.

Sem Makara, deputy head of the immigration police, said Pisith had no reason to fake the accident, again claiming that Puthy hit Pisith, who proceeded to fall and then faint.

“When you see the video, the car does not move or is not moving fast. But the side of the vehicle touched the police official’s feet and he fell down on the bridge,” Makara said.

He brushed off Facebook users, who claimed Pisith had faked the fall, saying the immigration official had nothing to gain from such a stunt. The immigration police, meanwhile, posted multiple photos of Pisith receiving treatment, photographing him in a hospital gurney and wearing a neck brace.

Netizens, however, were unconvinced, with some even shooting their own parody videos of the fall. Others, meanwhile, photoshopped the official into unflattering shots, including one in which another officer supports Pisith from behind on a fake Titanic-inspired movie poster.

Ngem Neang, a motodop and eyewitness, said authorities had confiscated the motorcycle of a fellow driver, and as the head of the local IDEA union, Puthy had come to attempt to negotiate a solution.

“Mang Puthy was in the car, but he did not drive the car fast to make the police fall down and faint as claimed by the immigration police,” he said.

Poipet town Cambodia National Rescue Party official Mean Sarith, yesterday claimed that the incident was a frame-up orchestrated as punishment for Puthy’s activism.

In his capacities as a unionist and opposition official, Puthy had supported motodops and cross-border handcart workers, who have clashed with the local authorities in the past, Sarith said.

“He has had many problems with police in the past. Police wanted to somehow accuse and arrest him,” he said, adding that the video evidence should prove Puthy to be innocent.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all