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Police hunt suspect in fiery death

Police hunt suspect in fiery death

A manager working at the Kampong Cham branch of the National Bank of Cambodia died in a Phnom Penh hospital yesterday after possibly being set ablaze on Sunday by an unidentified assailant, authorities said.

Sam Phat, Kampong Cham town police chief, identified the victim as Thuch Saphat, 49, a staff director at the bank, who lived in Veal Vong commune.

On Sunday, Saphat allegedly invited a friend over for a drink, and both men went inside his rented room at about 11pm, according to police. The victim’s neighbour and landlord both saw flames erupt from the room shortly thereafter, Phat said.

“He [the victim] got drunk and didn’t realise the fire was burning his whole body,” he said, adding that witnesses had quickly extinguished the burning man.

The alleged perpetrator escaped with an expensive gold necklace, leading authorities to believe the incident was a robbery, he added.

Chan Hor, a deputy police chief in Kampong Cham commune, confirmed the case was under investigation and the suspect remained at large.

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