Police are investigating the motives behind a brutal axe attack near a rubber plantation in Oddar Meanchey province that left a 20-year-old environmental officer dead and his colleague seriously injured early yesterday morning.
Bou Boeun died after being attacked as he slept in a hammock at about 4am while apparently working a second job as a guard for the Vietnamese-owned Tay Ning Rubber Plantation company in Trapaing Prasat district’s Trapaing Prasat commune, Lieutenant Colonel Chan Sethapal, the provincial military police’s deputy chief of staff, said yesterday.
“Bou Boeun was struck many times with an axe. He died in his hammock. Im Vuthy, 31, was also hacked many times in the neck and hands. He survived the attack but with serious injuries,” he said.
Vuthy was taken to hospital following a report from rubber company workers at about 5am.
Police had not yet determined a motive for the attack nor had they identified any suspects, Sethapal added.
Second Lieutenant Meak Chantha, a district police office, however, said a preliminary police investigation suggested the motive of the attack was robbery.
“One luxury motorbike and an expensive mobile phone, along with an amount of money were taken in the attack,” he said.
“We suspect there were at least two robbers.”
The two victims were environmental officers sent by the provincial environment department to work at the Koulen Prumh Tep wildlife shelter near Trapaing Prasat commune, which is in the vicinity of the rubber plantation in O-Krouch village, Chantha said.
The victims appeared to have been working security jobs at night for the rubber company, authorities said.
Chantha said police would investigate other workers in the area, but added that there was nothing to suggest the attack was directly related to the company’s land concession.
Representatives of Tay Ning Rubber Plantation Company could not be reached for comment yesterday.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]