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Two nabbed over rice wine deaths

In the wake of three deaths this weekend in Siem Reap province’s Prasat Bakong district, police yesterday arrested two rice wine makers and charged them with unintentional murder.

The Bakong district police chief said yesterday they had arrested 28-year-old Chhin Sophea and 32-year-old Chhut Sean of the Roluos commune after they were found to be in possession of toxic rice wine, which police allege led to the deaths of three and the injuries of one other.

The rice wine that the victims were drinking was sent to the provincial hospital on Sunday to determine if it was toxic. Police confirmed the unintentional murder charge, despite the fact that there have been no test results proving the wine the two men made was the wine that killed the victims.

The three villagers from Bakong district who died over the weekend have been identified as Soun Somnang, his wife, Lang Proem, and Beung Bo. Another victim, Thet Saroum, was transported to hospital in Phnom Penh.

“I’ve also ordered all rice wine producers to suspend production, and I’ve prohibited villagers from drinking rice wine until we receive the results of the tests,” the police chief said on Sunday.



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