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Identity of ‘dealer’ still unclear as rumours fly

Authorities inspect a car with police decals after the owners were arrested during a shootout with police on Wednesday. Photo supplied
Authorities inspect a car with police decals after the owners were arrested during a shootout with police on Wednesday. Photo supplied

Identity of ‘dealer’ still unclear as rumours fly

As military police yesterday held a funeral for an officer killed in a shootout with an alleged drug trafficker, the identity of the latter – shot dead by police – remained undisclosed amid rumours that at least one of the suspects may have been an Interior Ministry official.

One suspect was killed and five arrested during the raid on a Tuol Kork property on Wednesday, during which Tien Karona, an officer from the gendarmerie’s Phnom Penh unit, was fatally wounded.

Officers seized five pistols and an AK-47 rifle and also confiscated two cars, including an Audi that bore the licence plates and a logo of the National Police. Yesterday, rumours circulated in local media that someone within the group may have been an Interior Ministry employee.

Commune and district police officials yesterday would not identify the dead alleged dealer, who destroyed his identification documents and flushed most of the drugs down the toilet as police closed in, according to a military police report.

Phnom Penh military police chief Rath Sreang declined to comment.

One of the suspects arrested was named by police as Ly Kok Huy. Local police said Kok Huy was also known as Ty Ieng and was the brother-in-law of the man shot dead. Kok Huy’s name as appears on the building raided by police, a grilled duck and pig outlet.

Yesterday, it was suggested that Kok Huy worked at the Interior Ministry’s Inspection Department, though its chief, Chai Song, denied this. “No one is lost . . . We don’t have that name here,” he said.

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