Police in Siem Reap province are searching for a gang of ethnically Vietnamese fishermen accused of savagely beating a rival group of Cambodians during a dispute over a fishing net.
Min Chantha, chief of Prasat Bakong district police, said the dispute broke out in Kampong Phluk commune at about 9pm on Monday when the Vietnamese men allegedly cast a fishing net over one previously laid by the Cambodians.
“According to eyewitnesses . . . the Cambodian fishermen were putting the fishing net in the [Tonle Sap] lake and then the group of Vietnamese put theirs on top of the Cambodian fishermen’s net.
After that, they started to argue with each other,” he said.
Following the argument, “the Vietnamese fishermen called to their friends and about 30 to 40 arrived and beat the Cambodian fishermen before fleeing the scene.”
Of the 14 Cambodian fishermen involved in the dispute, four were seriously injured and sent for treatment at the district hospital, Chantha said.
“We are seeking to arrest them [the Vietnamese fishermen] now. We don’t know their identities yet; we just know that they live in Chong Kneas floating village.”