Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen aide held in Koh Kong

Hun Sen aide held in Koh Kong

Hun Sen aide held in Koh Kong

Less than a week after one of his Cabinet members was arrested, another of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s coterie has run afoul of the law.

A man identified as a personal assistant to the premier and a member of his personal bodyguard unit was detained for questioning yesterday for allegedly using a gun, an electric baton and handcuffs to attack four men, an official said yesterday.

Lay Menglaing, chief of the minor crime police office in Koh Kong province, said three of the premier’s bodyguards were also detained over the incident.

“The prosecutor asked me to file the report and evidence in order for the court to take legal action,” Lay Menglaing said.  “We have to obey the law regardless if he’s a senior official or someone else.”

He told the Post that Bun Sokha, who he referred to as deputy chief of staff of the Hun Sen bodyguard unit, and his guards had beaten the four victims on Sunday evening at the Koh Kong City hotel in Khemarak Phoumin town.  

Sang Thairath, 32, a guest who had checked out earlier in the day, returned to the hotel at 11pm to look for a necklace he believed he had left in his room, which at that point was occupied by Bun Sokha and his wife, Lay Menglaing said.

After answering the door, Bun Sokha’s wife called her husband, who returned to the hotel in an “intoxicated manner” and began arguing with the man and a hotel security guard before ordering his guards to beat them.

Another man and a military police officer who attempted to intervene were also attacked, he said.

“Now, both victims and criminals stayed at the police station, and we questioned all of them. The … military police officer said the criminal used an electric baton and threatened the victims with his gun,” Lay Menglaing said.

“Bun Sokha said that the necklace owner argued with him, so he ordered his bodyguards to beat him. Some lost their teeth. Bun Sokha admitted that he physically attacked the victim,” he said.

He added that the four victims – Sang Thairath; Norng Suden; hotel security guard Phat Sokha; and military police officer Eng Kosal – had filed a complaint against Bun Sokha and bodyguards Som Veasna and Meng Chheangly.

No complaint was filed against a third bodyguard present, who was identified as Bun Sokha’s driver.

As of 4pm yesterday, Bun Sokha and his bodyguards were still being questioned, according to Lay Menglaing.

Victim Sang Thairath told the Post that on Sunday night, he went to the room he had stayed in to look for the necklace but was refused entrance, after which Bun Sokha arrived with his bodyguards and beat him.

“I filed a complaint yesterday to police to take legal action against those perpetrators,” he said.

Hing Bun Heang, commander of Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit and deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, confirmed yesterday that Bun Sokha is a personal assistant to Hun Sen and deputy chief of staff at the bodyguard unit.

“Bun Sokha brought his wife and children to visit Koh Kong because he was at Preah Vihear during Khmer New Year,” he said. “The case is solved.”

However, Lim Leang Se, deputy director of Hun Sen’s Cabinet, said he had never heard of Bun Sokha.

“I don’t know him. I never hear about this name,” he said.

One week ago, Ken Sara, a member of Hun Sen’s cabinet and a speechwriter for the premier, was arrested for drunkenly firing his gun and assaulting a motodop.

He was subsequently sacked and is awaiting trial at Prey Sar prison.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chhay Channyda and Lieng Sarith at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said