Farmhand Stabs Friend To Death Over Wine Gibe

A plantation worker stabbed his friend to death during a Khmer New Year party in Ratanakkiri province on Monday after losing his temper when he was mocked for his miserliness, police said on Tuesday.

The victim, May Chhean, 38, and suspect, Phorn Samoeun, 35, were drinking with four other farmhands on the coconut oil plantation in Kon Mom district where they worked when Mr. Samoeun began grousing about the cost of a bottle of rice wine he had contributed to the party, according to Ren Muth, chief of the district police’s serious crimes section.

May Chhean responded by teasing the younger worker for being stingy and telling him the wine was not needed, and that he could bring it back to his home nearby, Mr. Muth said.

“He brought it to his home…and the rest of the group split their money and bought beer to drink instead,” he said. “When he came back, he was silent and holding a knife.

The victim stood up from his chair and walked away from the table where he was drinking, but the offender stabbed the victim very quickly.”

May Chhean sustained a single stab wound to the chest and died en route to a local hospital at about 1:30 p.m., Mr. Muth said.

The suspect remains at large.

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