National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said on Tuesday that the police have yet to identify the source of the firearm that was used in a murder involving Chinese nationals in Preah Sihanouk province.
A Chinese national was shot and killed in a car on Monday, with the motive for the crime remaining unknown. Two suspects, also Chinese nationals, were arrested about two hours after the victim’s body was found on the side of a road in Preah Sihanouk town’s commune 4.
Noting that the investigation was still underway, Kim Khoeun said: “Where did they get the gun from? It was not from Preah Sihanouk or any army’s weapon warehouse.”
He said the “authorities in every level” continue to prevent the use of weapons throughout Cambodia.
“We already implemented concrete actions and set specific targets, but mishaps continue to occur across the country, not only in Preah Sihanouk province,” he said.
Speaking to The Post on Tuesday, Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Chuon Narin said the suspects already went through interrogation and now remain in custody.
He said the two “will not be sent to the provincial court immediately” due to the ongoing investigation to determine the motives and because “the authorities are still searching for other suspects”.
Asked about firearm usage in Preah Sihanouk, Narin said he had “instructed his team to implement concrete actions, including thorough checking and controlling in the field”.
“We take measures regarding the [gun] issue regularly while enforcing the laws and regulations in the highest possible manner. I am sorry that the murder happened . . . it revealed the loopholes [in the security] that we need to plug,” he said.
As to weapon controls, Narin said users must be detained first before the source of the firearm could be ascertained.
Soeung Sen Karuna, the spokesman for human rights group Adhoc, on Tuesday, wondered how a foreign individual could get a hold of firearms, despite “strict security controls at the airports”.
“I am afraid the police may know the source of those weapons . . . there may be some powerful and influential individuals from the army behind them,” he alleged, and said, “if that is the case, it would be very difficult for the police to target the people behind the guns”.
Sen Karuna noted that in theory, finding the source of firearms should not be too difficult granted the police have detained the user.
The police could question the suspect on where, how and who they procured their gun from. “Eventually, they would be able to investigate further and arrest the firearm traffickers, and punish them accordingly,” he said.