Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Taxi driver shot by Ministry of Defence colonel in alleged pistol 'malfunction'

Taxi driver shot by Ministry of Defence colonel in alleged pistol 'malfunction'

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Taxi driver Chum Kea (right) and his wife Sam Sophoan, before Kea regained consciousness following surgery after being shot by a military colonel in Phnom Penh. Khouth Sophak Chakrya

Taxi driver shot by Ministry of Defence colonel in alleged pistol 'malfunction'

A 40-year-old taxi driver in Phnom Penh underwent surgery at Calmette Hospital this morning to remove a bullet from his left side after he was allegedly shot - on accident - by a drunken colonel from the Ministry of Defence.

Chum Kea, who works for Preah Khan Reach Company, was shot at 3:30am on Tuesday morning when he was driving Pen Sayoan, 34, a colonel at the Ministry of Defence’s General Department of Technical Material, said Kret Sakarin, police chief for Prampi Makara district. Sayoan was arrested this morning and was being questioned.

Sakarin said the suspect was drunk at the time and would be sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for further procedures.

“In the taxi, authorities found a pistol bullet casing and two packets of drugs, and there was a hole from behind [the driver’s seat] and blood stains,” he said, identifying the drug as yaba. “But according to the suspect, the shooting [was] caused by a pistol malfunction, not intended murder.”

Following his surgery this morning, Kea said from his room in the Intensive Care Unit that as they approached the suspect’s home while driving back from a club, Sayoan told him to stop and asked him if he had seen his gun, which he had apparently lost. A gunshot quickly followed.

Initially, Kea said, he was afraid of the suspect and refused an offer to take him to the hospital because he thought he might kill him. Though, Sayoan later “hugged” him, apologised and gave him $100.

“However, I think that only he and God know whether he wanted to shoot me or not,” he said.

Kea’s wife, Sam Sophana, said her husband’s condition remained serious as the bullet had pierced through the intestine and had also affected the bladder.

“Now, I have not thought about filing [a] complaint, but I am in need of aid from the suspect and compensation from the suspect’s family so that I can pay for my husband’s treatment,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors