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Acid-attack fugitive arrested following one year manhunt

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The man was arrested after a tip-off from Kampong Treas commune police in Tbong Khmum province. POLICE

Acid-attack fugitive arrested following one year manhunt

Por Sen Chey district police in Phnom Penh on June 8 sent a 43-year-old man to the municipal court after apprehending him on June 5 for allegedly attacking his former lover with acid last year.

Deputy district police chief Chea Sovann said the suspect is a motor-taxi driver living in Kampong Treas commune’s village II in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district. The victim, 50, is formerly a security guard at a factory in Por Sen Chey district’s Chaom Chao I commune.

“We sent related documents to the court on June 7, but the suspect was just sent today [June 8],” he said, adding that police had searched for him for more than a year.

Photos and relevant information about him were also sent to local authorities in his hometown in Kampong Treas commune’s village II in Tbong Khmum province. On June 2, Kampong Treas commune police gave a tip-off to Por Sen Chey district police in Phnom Penh that the suspect was in quarantine at a centre in the village.

According to Sovann, the suspect and the victim cohabitated, but he left her to live with another lover for a long period. He later returned and asked to live with her, but she refused.

The man was enraged by her refusal and he attacked her with acid on March 28 last year, when she was walking home from work in Trapaing Thloeng I village of Por Sen Chey district’s Chaom Chao I commune. The woman suffered critical and disfiguring injuries to her face.

Chhun Chenda Sophea, chief of IMPACT Cambodia, noted on June 8 that acid attacks had declined remarkably after the Law on Acid Control was passed in 2012.

In the four years before the law was passed, there were over 70 victims of acid attacks – but after the law went into effect, only a few have been recorded, she said.

“The law is really effective because the burden is placed on the buyers and sellers of acid. If the selling or buying is unpermitted then they are definitely going to be fined and often jailed too, so it makes people afraid and most people will not dare to break a law that can carry a sentence of up to 25 years in prison,” she said.

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