Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police detain runaway killer

Police detain runaway killer

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sok Phan, who savagely murdered a nine-year-old boy by stabbing his throat and stomach in 2009, is now under custody of Ratanakkiri provincial police. child protection unit

Police detain runaway killer

Ratanakkiri provincial police in conjunction with the NGO Child Protection Unit (CPU) and Joint Task Force on Wednesday arrested a man for the “vicious” 2009 murder of a nine-year-old boy in Koh Kong province.

The young child was stabbed in the throat and stomach in view of his schoolmates and teacher after the killer had a dispute with the boy’s father.

Ratanakkiri deputy provinical police chief Phen Dina told The Post on Wednesday that the wanted killer, Sok Phan, had fled to Ratanakkiri province after the murder. Phan had avoided arrest for almost nine years after killing the boy in Koh Kong province’s Kiri Sakor district in December 2009.

Following a years-long investigation, police finally apprehended Phan, 49, on Wednesday morning in Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district after an arrest warrant was issued by Koh Kong provincial court in 2010.

“After he was detained, he confessed to the murder. Now we have followed legal procedure by returning him to Koh Kong province for further action."

“The court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment. He had gone into hiding in many provinces,” he said.

Dina said the murder stemmed from a land dispute with the boy’s family.

“The suspect was furious [with the boy’s parents]. He cut the boy’s stomach and throat, killing him at the crime scene,” he said, adding the suspect changed his name while on the run to escape the police.

Koh Kong deputy provincial police chief Khim Sene said authorities from various provinces had worked closely to locate the suspect. He said police are set to send him to provincial court.

“The dispute that led to the murder stemmed from a minor issue. The suspect harmed the boy because he could not take revenge on his parents. He is a cruel person,” he said.

According to a report of Child Protection Unit (CPU), on 18 December 2009, the body of the boy Yoeun Pov Rathak was found around 1:20pm near his primary school in Koh Sdech commune, Kiri Sakor district , Koh Kong province.

“The boy was savagely murdered, stabbedon his throat and stomach. The victim collapsed at the crime scene, and the suspect escaped. Pupils and teachers at school witnessed the killing,” the report said.

James McCabe, the director of operations at CPU expressed his satisfaction that the perpetrator had finally been brought to justice.

“[The nine-year-old] was just starting his life, and it was cut short in a particulary violent manner. We hope this arrest will bring some closure for [the victim’s] family and friends."

“This investigation has been an outstanding example of leadership, command and cooperation from many different agencies over a three-year period that resulted in this outstanding result and arrest of the suspect.

“All criminals that commit serious offences should be on notice that the Cambodian National Police and CPU are committed to ensuring that anyone who commits a serious offence such as this will be brought to justice to face Cambodian law,” McCabe said.

The CPU said it “wished to praise the CambodianNational Police and Joint Task Force members for their excellent work in locating this violent offender responsible for the vicious murder of a young child”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • EDC tackles power shortfall

    Electrcite Du Cambodge (EDC) on Monday issued a statement updating the public on its efforts to tackle insufficient electricity supplies during the ongoing dry season. Reductions in electricity prices have resulted in a steady increase in consumers in the Kingdom, while local and international investors

  • African swine fever spreads to VN-Cambodia border

    African swine fever has spread to parts of Vietnam that border Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri and Kratie provinces, a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official said on Friday. Tan Phannara, the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production director-general, told a Phnom Penh workshop that