A FOREST ranger's body was found floating in the Tonle Sap in a murder some
people suspect is related to his attempts to uncover corruption in the Forestry
A source from the criminal investigation police said he
suspected Sotha Kunthea's death may have been related to him uncovering some
corrupt scandal in the Forestry department. The source said Kunthea's job gave
him access to sensitive accounting records in the department.
source said investigations at the Forestry Department had yet to uncover
anything and nobody in the Forestry department has been able to give the police
any leads concerning Kunthea's death.
Family members say on May 11
Kunthea was handcuffed, tortured and dunked in a river by unknown men.
struggled home at 3 am with shackle marks covering his hands. He forced family
members to keep the incident a secret to protect their safety.
members said on May 31 at 6 pm a man came to their house and asked Kunthea to go
with him but Kunthea refused. They said another man later came to the house in a
car and this time Kunthea went off with the man.
Kunthea was not seen
again until his body was found with a gun shot wound through the head in the
river 60 meters from the friendship bridge on June 2.
Family members and
neighbors described Kunthea as an honest and friendly person who never got into
trouble with anyone.
One neighbor said: "Kunthea , unlike other rangers,
never possessed a motorbike or car and was very poor."
When asked by the
Post about corruption in the Forestry Department family members and neighbors
refused to say anything due to fear.
Kunthea's family have also since the
death moved house to protect themselves. But a close friend of Kunthea's said
his death was related to his being honest and law abiding.
groups may launch an independent investigation of the killing.