Rumours of the arrest of former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith swirled around local media yesterday, only to be swatted by a litany of government officials.
Early in the day, a local media outlet reported that Bandith – convicted of shooting three garment workers in February of 2012 – was arrested in Mondulkiri, while another reported that he had been apprehended in Ratanakkiri after withdrawing $1 million from the bank.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak, however, said yesterday that he had no idea of Bandith’s whereabouts. “What the local media reported is not true,” he said.
National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith echoed that sentiment, as did Mondulkiri provincial police chief Nhem Vanny, who said he was still searching for Bandith – as was Hem Saban, deputy police chief in Svay Rieng.
The list of denials was rounded out by the governor of Ratanakkiri, a Svay Rieng prosecutor and even a guard at the Svay Rieng provincial prison, all of whom said they had seen no sign him.