Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Sorcerer’ slaying examined



‘Sorcerer’ slaying examined

Three men pose for a photograph at a local police station in Kampong Chhnang province after they were arrested for the murder of a neighbour they accused of practising sorcery.
Three men pose for a photograph at a local police station in Kampong Chhnang province after they were arrested for the murder of a neighbour they accused of practising sorcery. National police

‘Sorcerer’ slaying examined

Three people in Oddar Meanchey province will be questioned today over the alleged premeditated murder of a “gentle” 60-year-old woman accused by a local family of practising sorcery, police said yesterday.

Nem Nor, Chongkal district deputy police chief, said Rem Yoeurm was found dead at her home in Banteay Chor village on Thursday night, having been stabbed repeatedly in the throat and chest and with her stomach sliced open.

“The victim was killed at around 8 to 9pm when she stayed at home alone while her husband went out to treat other villagers because he is a traditional Khmer doctor.”

When Yoeurm’s husband returned home, he discovered her body, Nor said.

Yoeurm’s death marks the second sorcery-related murder in the district so far this year, according to Nor.

It also comes just days after a man in Kampong Chhnang province was hacked to death, allegedly by three of his neighbours who accused him of practising black magic.

Three suspects have been arrested in relation to the murder – 52-year-old Hauk Samnang, her son-in-law, Samban Buth, 27, and her son, Yan Dauch, 25.

According to Nor, days before the murder Samnang fell sick after drinking wine with Yoeurm, whom she accused of using sorcery to make her ill.

Samnang “ordered her son-in-law to kill Rem Yoeurm. She told him that if he did not kill the victim, she would hire someone else to do it,” Nor said.

Before the murder, “Yan Dauch went to see the victim and threatened to kill her if she didn’t make his mother recover,” he added.

Police arrested Buth on Friday night as he attempted to flee to his hometown in the province’s Samroang district. Samnang and Dauch were arrested at their home the following day.

All three will be sent to the provincial court today for questioning.

Nor said tensions were high in the small community since Yoeurm’s death.

“The villagers got so angry with the suspects. They attempted to attack them [before the arrests], but we tried to stop them,” he said.

“The victim and her husband are gentle people and the villagers like them.

When a sorcerer dies, people will not join their funeral, but with Rem Yoeurm it’s different.

The villagers really pity her and a lot of them are joining her funeral. She was not a sorcerer.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could