Military police in Svay Rieng on Sunday filed weapons and battery charges in provincial court against eight suspects in connection with a brawl that erupted outside the Darling III Casino in Kampong Ro district on Friday.
Court prosecutor Keo Sothea said that eight suspects, including casino shareholders and security staff, would be charged with use of an illegal weapon and battery but declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.
The suspects were detained by military police on Friday following a verbal dispute that ended in gunshots and a physical confrontation between security guards and casino shareholders, said provincial military police chief Nut Non, who would not confirm whether any of the suspects remaind in custody as of yesterday.
Three suspects were sent to hospital in Vietnam for treatment of severe injuries, though none were injured by gunfire, Nut Non said.
“Security guards fired 10 times outside the casino in an attempt to disperse the people who were arguing. No bullets hit anyone and our investigation is ongoing,” Nut Non said.
He added that the injuries sustained by three of the suspects came as the result of beatings by electric batons and handguns.
“We sent eight suspects including the casino owner, all of whom we are currently not identifying, to face questioning over preliminary charges of the illegal use of weapons and assault,” Nut Non said.
“We have yet to conclude which ones were the victims and which ones were the perpetrators. It will be up to the court to determine this,” Nut Non said.
Initial reports suggested that the dispute was the result of an internal quarrel among shareholders in the casino, Nut Non said.
“We haven’t learned enough about what caused this incident and what caused the argument, Nut Non said.
“We were informed by casino staff that the group of shareholders were apparently drunk and angry with security guards for not knowing that they were among the group of owners of the casino, and for trying to block them from entering the casino.”
Cheang Am, Svay Rieng provincial governor, said yesterday that he had been informed of the incident by military police and that he had encouraged the court to investigate further.