A first lieutenant with a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) engineering unit was arrested on Sunday after firing a Glock pistol outside a property in Mondulkiri’s Sen Monorom town he was renting when one of two women he had taken there grabbed his car keys.
Sen Monorom police chief Kan Penh told The Post on Monday that the man was drunk when detained in the early hours of the morning in Spean Meanchey commune’s Chamka Te village.
“At first, he said he was a major general, but when military police brought him in for questioning, we saw his insignia and his rank is only that of a first lieutenant,” Penh said.
After being held, the officer was sent to the provincial Military Police headquarters for further questioning.
Mondulkiri provincial Military Police chief Hem Bonarel told The Post that the man said he had been driving in his car alone after leaving a restaurant when he saw two women who appeared drunk. He offered to take them to a rental property.
After arriving at the property, one of the women vomited and he got out of the car to see if she was all right, leaving the engine running. The other woman took the keys from the car and went into the property, closing the door behind her without locking it.
He asked the woman several times to return the keys to him but she refused, Bonarel recounted the first lieutenant as telling police.
In a hurry to go to work, he said, he pulled out his handgun and shot several rounds in the air to get the woman to hand back the keys. Intimidated, she did so immediately.
“We checked his documents and he holds a gun licence. But as there was a shooting incident, the director of his unit will punish him,” Bonarel said.
Sen Monorom town Military Police chief Nhek Sarom confirmed to The Post that the man was a first lieutenant with an RCAF engineering unit involved in road construction.
After his arrest, he was sent to the provincial Military Police headquarters, where the director of the provincial engineering department took him back to his unit for the matter to be dealt with internally.
“If he had endangered anyone, he would be subject to criminal law and we would have sent him to court, but his unit guaranteed to punish him, either fining or sacking him."
“It is now a matter for his unit. Because it involves the military, it comes under military law. We have nothing further do with the case,” Sarom said.