Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - British murder suspect arrested



British murder suspect arrested

Toby James Nelham hides his face as he is escorted by officials from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.
Toby James Nelham hides his face as he is escorted by officials from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. Niem Chheng

British murder suspect arrested

Cambodian officials yesterday confirmed that British national Toby James Nelhams, wanted in connection with the murder of fellow Briton Tony Kenway last month in Thailand, is in police custody after his arrest “a few days ago” in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district.

Nelhams, 44, the alleged mastermind behind the January 24 shooting death, is one of three men that have been tied to the murder.

“The prosecutor is reviewing documents and evidence and questioning the subject,” Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophana said yesterday, adding that they would continue questioning Nelhams today.

The victim, Kenway, was fatally shot once in the head while sitting in his Porsche in Pattaya, Thailand. Thai police immediately identified South African Abel Caldeira Bonita and Briton Miles Dicken Turner as the suspects.

The Bangkok Post first reported that Bonita and Turner entered Thailand from Cambodia, before returning to Cambodia after the murder. The Thai newspaper has since reported the two men were ordered to kill Kenway by Nelhams, and that Kenway’s wife claimed her late husband had been in conflict with a former business partner named “Toby”.

Nelhams was expected to be handed over to Thai authorities last week, though the transfer never happened and Cambodian officials at the time denied he was in custody.

Following yesterday’s revelation that Nelhams was being held in a Phnom Penh jail cell, one police official who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed Nelhams was the “mastermind” behind the murder, and personally ordered the hit from Cambodia.

“He was arrested a few days ago in Por Sen Chey district,” the officer added, explaining that police were tipped off by another British national who had been arrested for overstaying his visa.

“Through his answer, we know that this guy was the mastermind of the murder in Thailand. As the case happened in Thailand, I think he would be extradited to Thailand,” the officer.

While Cambodia and Thailand have an extradition treaty in place, Sophana and other government officials refused to comment on whether or not a transfer to Thai authorities was in the works.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry yesterday referred questions to the Ministry of Interior. Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak also refused to comment, directing questions to National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith, who could not be reached.

Both the British and Thai embassies did not return requests for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there