Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two arrests in capital slaying of uni student

Two arrests in capital slaying of uni student

Chan Sovan (second from left) and Um Suosdey (centre), at a press conference yesterday after they were arrested Wednesday in connection with an armed robbery in which a man was shot dead in Phnom Penh earlier this week. Khouth sophak chakrya
Chan Sovan (second from left) and Um Suosdey (centre), at a press conference yesterday after they were arrested Wednesday in connection with an armed robbery in which a man was shot dead in Phnom Penh earlier this week. Khouth Sophak Chakrya

Two arrests in capital slaying of uni student

Two men allegedly behind at least four robberies in Phnom Penh, including one last Saturday that saw a university student shot dead, were provisionally charged yesterday, with one suspect confessing during a press conference that he fired at the victim.

Working with local authorities, officers from the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday arrested the two suspects in separate locations in the capital, recovering firearms including a sawn-off M16 rifle, two handguns – a Beretta and a Herstal and ammunition, according to the head of the Interior Ministry’s penal police, Sok Khemarin.

Police began the hunt on the weekend after Chan Sokchea, 24, was gunned down behind the wheel of his Lexus early on Saturday morning when he attempted to stop a group of thieves from robbing his fiancee and sister outside his Chamkarmon district home by ramming one with his car.

At a press conference yesterday, Khemarin displayed two of the alleged four perpetrators – Um Suosdey, who is accused of shooting Sokchea, and Chan Sovan, who is accused of robbing the women.

The men were later taken to Phnom Penh Municipal Court and charged with robbery and illegal use of a weapon, before being sent to Prey Sar prison. According to Khemarin’s deputy, Loek Vannak, the men admitted to being part of a gang behind four armed robberies in recent months, including the shooting.

Vannak said police also seized three motorbikes, two of which were used in the fatal attack, and walkie-talkies.

During yesterday’s press conference, Suosdey confessed to shooting at Sokchea on Saturday, saying the group had followed his car from a traffic light near the Intercontinental Hotel.

“I took the pistol and took five shots at the victim after he drove and tried to hit me, but he failed,” Suosdey said.

“I bought it from a man in Takhmao, but I do not know the name.”

Vannak said police would search for the dealer of the weapons. Khemarin said police continued to search for the remaining two suspects.

“Currently, our authorities are investigating for their two affiliates who are fleeing, in order to bring them to justice,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the