The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court has placed nine out of 11 suspects, all of them Chinese nationals, in pre-trial detention over a double-homicide case after two bodies were discovered in separate locations on January 21. The remaining two suspects are still under questioning.

Court spokesman Ly Chandara confirmed to The Post on February 1 that the Chinese suspects were remanded into custody by the investigating judge on January 30.

It is expected that the other two suspects will also face the court after questioning

“They have been detained on charges of premeditated murder under Article 200 of the Criminal Code as well as for the unauthorised stockpiling of weapons,” he said.

Provincial police chief Chuon Narin said on February 1 that the search for these suspects was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior’s Central Security Department, as well as police in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal, Kampot and Prey Veng.

“Most of these suspects were arrested in Preah Sihanouk, Kandal and Phnom Penh. We were pursuing them in stages and we are sending them to court as they are processed,” he said, adding that the group appears to be part of an international organised crime gang.

On January 21, the Preah Sihanouk police received a tip that there were two bodies buried in two different locations – one behind the “Chinatown” area in Commune IV’s village VI and the other in O’Tasek village of Prey Nop district’s Oknha Heng commune.

The first victim was identified as Li Hong, 30, a Chinese citizen also known as Da Da. The second is an Asian woman between the ages of 20 and 25 with a height of 1.55m, fair complexion and blonde hair. She remains unidentified as of press time and Preah Sihanouk police are actively seeking information from the public regarding her possible identity.

Over the 10-day period from January 21-31, officers arrested a total of 13 suspects involved in the murders or believed to have information regarding them, but subsequently released a Vietnamese woman and Chinese woman after questioning.

The case remains under investigation, but police indicated that six of the 11 Chinese men under arrest are directly implicated in the murders whereas the other five are suspected of involvement with the illegal detention or kidnapping of another three Chinese men.