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Police probe fatal alcohol poisoning at Pursat prison

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When the Pursat Provincial Police Scientific Technical Committee investigated the scene, it did not find any significant specimens or material there. Pursat Provincial Industry Department

Police probe fatal alcohol poisoning at Pursat prison

Prison authorities are investigating a case of alcohol poisoning that left an inmate dead and 15 ill at M4 prison in Pursat province’s Talou Sen Chey district.

The men were drinking a mixture of alcohol with Coca-Cola, Carabao and instant coffee on June 27, according to a report by the Talou Sen Chey district police.

The report, obtained by The Post on Wednesday, revealed that on June 28 when the Pursat Provincial Police Scientific Technical Committee investigated the scene, it did not find any significant specimens or material there.

“This is because the incident location was changed and materials used by the victim was lost,” the report reads.

Adhoc spokesman Soeng Sen Karuna said on Wednesday the case reflected neglect by prison officials who let the incident happen and caused an inmate to die.

“We want all units, not just the prison, to be careful not to repeat such a case. We will take measures to investigate this case and find out what happened. It shows the carelessness and neglect of prison guards,” he said.

General Department of Prisons (GDP) spokesman Nuth Savna said its inspection group has collaborated with the Pursat provincial prison chief to investigate but has yet to report on the results.

“In case we find a prison official responsible for causing the death of an inmate, he will be subject to expulsion by the National Police. But if it is unintentional, it is punishable by a suspension or a partial disqualification. But if it’s considered a small mistake there will be a written warning,” he said.

The inmate who died was Ya Rith, 25. He was serving time for a 2017 aggravated robbery of a motorcyclist that involved using a sword to threaten his victim.

The report also cited San Borey, the head of the prison’s H2 building who clarified to the justice police that between 5pm and 6pm on June 26, Rith smuggled alcohol from the front of the building into his room.

The next day the inmate suffered stomach ache, diarrhoea, vomiting and fatigue, and was sent to the Pursat provincial hospital for treatment. He died at the hospital at 9:20pm.

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