Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ranger allegedly fired AK-47 drunk

Ranger allegedly fired AK-47 drunk

Ranger allegedly fired AK-47 drunk

An environment official in Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri’s Koh Nhek district was arrested and allegedly forced to pay a $4,000 bribe after being accused of firing a rifle while intoxicated on Sunday morning, according to a rights worker.

Ranger Huot Som, 27, was patrolling the forest on Saturday and apprehended illegal loggers, who fled but left behind an AK-47 rifle.

Instead of turning the weapon in to his superiors, Som took the weapon and drank with friends late into the night.

Som was arrested after shots were fired around 3am on Sunday, said Eang Mengly, Mondolkiri provincial investigator for Adhoc.

Mengly was alerted to the incident by Som’s mother, who claimed police exploitation and said she pleaded for her son’s release.

“After realising about the shooting, police officials asked her son in for questioning, and they just arrested him. They demanded $4,000 for [his release],” Mengly said yesterday.

Keo Sinorng, Sre Sangkum commune chief, confirmed that Som had no previous brushes with the law, and his mother begged for his release, but said he had no knowledge of money changing hands.

However, he said the gun was intentionally fired by Som three times, after learning he had been locked out of his house

Meanwhile, Kan Penh, Koh Nhek district police chief, denied the allegation outright, and said there was no reason for an arrest as the gun had in fact only been fired accidentally when it was nudged from the drunk officer’s shoulder.

“We did nothing to him,” said Penh, explaining Som voluntarily turned in the weapon in the morning.

“There was no demand for money,” he added. “We took the rifle and [thanked] him.”

MOST VIEWED

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen invites US president to attend summit in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen personally invited US President Joe Biden to attend the ASEAN-US Summit which is set to be held in Cambodia in November, as ASEAN and the US are expected to upgrade their strategic partnership to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, according to Prime

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub