A well-known property tycoon whose son is wanted in court turned him in yesterday on the advice of the chief of municipal police, according to officials.
Oknha Duong Ngiep arrived at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday afternoon with his 20-year-old son, Duong Chhay, accompanied by Choun Sovann, the city’s Municipal Police chief, said Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Chiv Keng.
Chhay is wanted by the court for allegedly causing injury, possessing illegal weapons and destroying private property. His brother, 17-year-old Duong Kimlong, was arrested Sunday on the same accusations.
Last Friday, the brothers were celebrating the Khmer New Year with friends at a restaurant in the Chamkarmon district when the group got into an argument with another group of six youths, said Ya Kim Y, Phnom Penh Municipal Military Police commander.
The argument escalated into fisticuffs, and in the heated exchange, Kimlong took out a concealed pistol he was carrying and pistol-whipped a 28-year-old man with whom he was fighting, added Kim Y.
“The attack caused him to be seriously injured,” Kim Y said of the victim. “After that, [Kimlong] threatened to shoot [the victim’s other friends] when they tried to come to his aid.”
The group then made a quick getaway in their luxury cars, he added, but not before they smashed plates, dishes and other furniture in the restaurant.
Police found and arrested Kimlong, along with his bodyguard Ly Rayuth, 20, at a condominium unit owned by his father in the Chamkarmon district two days later. They also confiscated two pistols, an AK-47 assault rifle and some ammunition.
Both Kimlong and Chhay were charged yesterday with causing injury, possessing illegal weapons and destroying private property.
Kimlong was sent to Prey Sar prison pending his trial, while Chhay spent the night at the police headquarters in Russey Keo district for further questioning today, said court president Keng.
Keng declined to comment as to whether Chhay would eventually join his brother at Prey Sar prison pending their trial.
At least two other suspects – known only as Sna and Mab, and believed to be the brothers’ drivers – are also wanted in connection with the case, said an officer at the municipal court who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Nach Try, the defence lawyer for the brothers, declined to comment, claiming that he had not yet read the court’s charges against his clients or completed his own research and investigation into the case.
Meanwhile, both Keng and Kim Y were all praises for Ngiep’s uncompromising parenting methods.
“[Turning his son in] was a good deed. Every father has to educate their children to be good people and to respect the rule of law in our country,” said Keng.
Kim Y called Ngiep a good role model and said this was proof that connections and wealth were no protection against wrongdoing.
“This sends a message to other tycoons, rich people and other high-ranking government officials that their children have to abide by the law,” Kim Y said.
The Duong family could not be reached for comment yesterday.