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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kiwi drowns in river

Kiwi drowns in river

Siem Reap police have urged guesthouses and hotels to fully comply with rules about registration of guests and to fill in all identity details in case of emergencies or deaths.

Last week a young New Zealander drowned in the Siem Reap River, and police were frustrated that they had difficulties identifying him at first because he hadn’t registered at his guesthouse with his full details.

Chao Maovireak, Chief of Immigration Office in Siem Reap confirmed the identity of the dead man as New Zealand passport holder Toby Clarke, born in 1991.

Clarke arrived in Siem Reap on July 19, and stayed at the The Prohm Roth Inn.  He checked out of the guesthouse on July 22. 

On Tuesday July 24,  his body was fished out of the river near the Old Market, near the river bank which is a popular spot for young people to hang out in the evenings.

He’d obviously been in the water for some time, and police said there were no suspicious circumstances to his death.

Siem Reap City’s Deputy Police Chief, Saron Som Eaoun said the victim may have been drunk and fallen into the river.

He said, “We saw his body in the morning time in the river near the old Market without any signs of murder shown.” He added that after police lifted the body out of the water, they found a black plastic bag containing a camera and some money.

The body was taken to Siem Reap Provincial Hospital.

The deputy police chief also complained about the “carelessness” of the guesthouse for not taking complete details of the nationality and full name of Clarke during the check in at the guesthouse.

He said, “They might think that it’s useless to note the full name and nationality of the guest.  However it’s very important in finding the guest’s identity as in Toby’s case.”

A suitably chastened staff member at the guest house said he had requested that Toby Clarke fully fill in the check-in form, but he had only entered a nickname.

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