National Police Chief Hok Lundy was killed Sunday when the helicopter he was riding in crashed in Svay Rieng province’s Romdoul district, government spokesman Khieu Kanharith told the Post.
“Hok Lundy is dead.… I can’t tell exactly what happened yet. We are investigating,” he said.
Three other people also died in the accident, including high-ranking RCAF General Sok Saem and two pilots, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said. He added that bad weather was thought to be the cause of the crash.
The helicopter took off around 7:20pm from Phnom Penh but lost radio contact about 15 minutes later, Khieu Sopheak said.
A close ally to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Hok Lundy, 58, rose to power in the chaotic mid-1990s to become one of Cambodia’s most imposing authority figures, taking over as head of National Police in 1994.
He had repeatedly been accused by various rights groups of brutal tactics, including murder, and was denied a visa to visit the United States in 2006 because of his alleged ties to human trafficking.
Hok Lundy was later awarded a medal by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for his efforts in fighting terrorism, and he travelled to Washington last year for anti-terror talks with the FBI.