Three men from Kampong Chhnang province’s Teuk Phos district have been arrested for allegedly murdering a neighbour they accused of practising sorcery, police said yesterday.
Liv Bun Song, the district’s deputy police chief, said that Morng village residents Khoem Sokhim, 22, Khoem Sokha, 21, and Doung Chetra, 18, were accused of hacking 49-year-old Moes Than to death with sticks and axes late on Tuesday afternoon.
“The suspects invited the victim to drink wine at a cottage in a rice field, and while they were drinking, the suspects accused the victim of using sorcery to make their relatives sick, but he [Than] denied the allegations,” he said.
According to Bun Song, after murdering Than, the suspects “tied him up like a pig and threw his body into the Knorng Kronhoung canal”.
After receiving complaints from Than’s family about his death, police arrested the men on Wednesday.
All three suspects confessed to Than’s murder, saying that they killed him because he was a sorcerer, Bun Song said.
Than’s death is not the only murder in Teuk Phos that has been linked to sorcery.
In May 2014, a 49-year-old alleged sorcerer was brutally murdered with a scythe by his own nephew. Five months later, a 44-year-old man was stabbed to death, reportedly over allegations that he had used magic to curse his attacker’s family.
Bun Song yesterday put the spate of attacks down to a “lack of knowledge”.
Areas with “modern technology don’t have sorcery anymore, but this is a remote area in the mountains”, he said.