Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Grenade arrests claimed 'political'

Grenade arrests claimed 'political'

Grenade arrests claimed 'political'

POLICE have identified suspects alleged to have tossed a grenade into a gambling

hall in Kampot, killing six and wounding 31 people, but a political dispute might

occur if they are arrested, according to the province's first deputy governor.

"We have found the suspects but we cannot arrest them. They are in a unit in

one side of another political party," said Tit Ream (CPP). He declined to name

the party.

The Kampot police chief, Seng Sokun, also a CPP member, confirmed that he had sent

a "document" about the suspects to the local court. He would not give further

details, or say whether the suspects would be arrested.

"There are some people getting involved with the story...they are deeply involved,"

said the police chief. "I cannot say now, it is secret."

Tit Ream said that "someone is behind" the suspects, and that provincial

authorities have to work steadily and carefully in order to solve the problem. Authorities

were keen to avoid accusations of political motivations in any arrests that might

be made, he said.

The grenade exploded in a gambling establishment where a crowd of people were playing

the game "Yuki" Feb 9.

Police chief Sokun said he believed the incident happened because of a dispute over

the result of a game of Yuki, and "is not related to any other thing".

But he confirmed that there had also been an argument between the owner of the gambling

hall and the owner of another gaming establishment nearby. The second establishment

had been almost empty, while the first one was full.

The owners of the two halls apparently exchanged "play words", as Sokun

put it, and the one whose hall was empty became angry. The explosion happened soon

after.

A human rights worker said it was rumored that two senior Funcinpec officers dressed

in camouflage approached a gambling table in the hall and threw a grenade. But he

said that he did not believe those reports.

The incident seems to strike a blow against some provincial officials who have received

bribes from the gambling den owner, creating a sense of anarchy in the town, the

rights worker claimed. "How can these people operate their games in the center

of town if they have not received permission from any provincial authority?"

Uk Kim Sith, prosecutor of Kampot provincial court, said he was aware of the grenade

attack but had not received any documents from the police. The court could do nothing

with the case unless the police, or the families of the deceased, made a complaint

to the court, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the