KAMPOT provincial police have launched an investigation in cooperation with Vietnamese authorities after a Cambodian man’s body was discovered floating in a lake in Vietnam’s Kien Giang province last week.
Phorn Banh, 24, was found dead in the lake on Saturday afternoon about 7 kilometres from his home in Kampong Trach district’s South Boeung Salang commune.
District police Chief Khuon Sovan said officials do not yet suspect foul play in the killing and are awaiting the results of an autopsy.
“I have already sent my deputy police chief to cooperate with Vietnamese police officials to learn about the case,” he said.
Try Chhuon, provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said two witnesses had noticed injuries on the body as they removed it from the lake. “The victim’s teeth were broken; there were black marks on his chest and right hand,” she said.
“We are thoroughly investigating and suspect his death could be an assassination rather than a drowning.”
Try Chhuon said that Deb Sim, a relative of the victim, reported that he, the victim, and two others who often worked together had been drinking with Vietnamese people, and that he and Phorn Banh had been invited to a Vietnamese wedding reception until 10pm.
“Deb Sim added that after leaving the reception, a motorbike carrying two people crashed into them while driving separate bikes to head home,” she said.
“They were not injured, but a Vietnamese woman hurt her knee. They felt frightened and carried their bikes to flee the scene and get home, when immediately several flashlights pointed at the men, and [people] started chasing them,” she said.
“Deb Sim arrived safely home around midnight, but the victim had disappeared.”
Phorn Banh had a wife and two children.