Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cop-killer hiding in forest; claims of identity disputed

Cop-killer hiding in forest; claims of identity disputed

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Police surrounded the suspect who was believed to be hiding in the forest in Koh Nhek district on January 06. Facebook

Cop-killer hiding in forest; claims of identity disputed

The prime suspect in the shooting death last week of a senior Phnom Penh municipal police officer has reportedly fled into the forests of Mondulkiri province where authorities are in pursuit.

Responding to social media claims that the alleged shooter was one of their elite soldiers, the military’s Special Forces Command (SFC) has denied that any of its members were involved in the December 29 incident stemming from a car accident in the capital’s Po Sen Chey district.

The denial came after an online news story reported Facebook users claiming to identify the assailant as 38 year-old Ear Naren, also called Rin Phan, describing him as a general in the SFC.

A special letter to The Post on behalf of the senior leadership of the SFC, dated January 5, unequivocally denied that the suspect in question was a member of their ranks.

“We strongly dispute any Facebook posts which continue to fabricate and spread disinformation asserting that the perpetrator has been a SFC soldier holding a rank of Brigadier General.

“These claims affect the reputation of our organisation. Therefore, we urge the owners of those Facebook accounts to correct what has been published as we wait for the authorities to arrest the perpetrators and punish them according to the law,” the letter said.

“If there remain any Facebook accounts sharing disinformation without citations of specific sources – which detrimentally affect our reputation – the SFC will file complaints with the relevant ministries, including inquiring with authorities in the information technology sector to determine the owners of such accounts for prosecution under the law,” it added.

SFC chief Chap Pheakdey said on January 6 that he had no further comment beyond the official statements which had already been issued.

Mondulkiri provincial police chief Lor Sokha said on January 6 that he was leading several police units to apprehend the suspect who was believed to be hiding in Koh Nhek district.

“Right now, I am deep in the forest, leading police forces to arrest the murderer,” he said.

In connection with the case, police arrested a 24-year-old Cambodian man named Ke Chanmean on January 4. He was allegedly the driver of a Lexus crossover carrying the shooter when the skirmish occurred.

Reth Sineth, deputy chief of the municipal police’s minor crime bureau, died of gunshot injuries sustained after a verbal dispute arising from the car accident.

In Facebook posts dated January 5 and 6, a user named “Vannak Thanin” accuses Naren of being the perpetrator, further identifying him as a former commando living in Village 16 of Phsar Kandal I commune in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district.

The user also wrote that in early 2003, Naren and accomplices shot and killed one victim, Om Rath Sady, an adviser to the late Prince Norodom Ranariddh, and stole a mobile phone near the Kab Ko market in the capital’s Tonle Bassac commune. Naren and his accomplices were sentenced to prison, and he was released in 2018, the posts alleged.


  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’