Farmer Charged After Rat Trap Kills Villager

A 52-year-old farmer was arrested on Thursday in Phnom Penh over the death of a fellow villager who was electrocuted by a wire the farmer had strung around his Chroy Changva district rice farm to deter rats from eating his crop, police said.

Sim Vanna was arrested on a provisional charge of manslaughter and detained at the district police station while authorities investigated the death, said Ek Sereyvuth, the deputy district police chief.

Thorn Sokheng, 34, died of electric shock after coming in contact with the wire that Mr. Vanna had placed around his 1 hectare field and attached to a battery.

Mr. Vanna found Thorn Sokheng’s corpse at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday on his land in Bak Kheng commune.

According to commune police chief Meas Thorn, Thorn Sokheng often visited Mr. Vanna at his rice field during the day and knew that Mr. Vanna had electrified the rice field.

The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of one to three years in prison.

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