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Police barred from casino murder scene

Police barred from casino murder scene

A casino owned by a tycoon in Banteay Meanchey province has allegedly used security guards and police to block other Cambodian law enforcement officials from investigating the latest in a string of murders reported at the shadowy establishment.

Khun Sarun, commander of Samrong District’s O’ Smach commune military police, said he was forcibly prevented from investigating the murder of Thai businesswoman Kaseth Theerakul at Tycoon Lim Heng’s Royal Hill Resort Hotel and Casino on October 15.

Though Cambodian officials had been shut out of the “Thai only” building that lies about 100 metres from the border, Thai police managed to enter and discovered a bound victim with a plastic bag over her head. She had been stabbed to death in a bathroom. “The [alleged] murderers were Thai nationals. They were arrested by Thai police in Thailand,” Khun Sarun said, adding the four suspects were apprehended on Monday. “The victim’s body was immediately brought by Thai police to her family in Thailand on the same night. Cambodian police did not participate in the examination of her body.”

Meav Bunwoath, chief of Oddar Meanchey’s provincial criminal police, said in the past few years police had been prevented from investigating many reported murders inside the casino. “This casino is very strict for our police. They have not cooperated with us and not allowed our police to go and investigate,” he said, adding he would ask the owner for permission to conduct investigations soon.

No action has been taken by his superiors so far, he said. No contact details were available for Lim Heng or his casino.

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