More than six months after they were first accused of raping a 12-year-old girl suffering from mental difficulties, three former policemen from Siem Reap province remain at large, with one of them reportedly living and working in Thailand, officials said July 18.
Siem Reap provincial police finally removed the names of the three officers from their positions in April, Provincial Police Chief Suot Nordy said. He added that police have a rough idea of where the suspects are, though he refused to reveal the location because he claimed this would disrupt the police investigation.
“They can’t return to the police ranks,” he said. “I am sorry for them but they are guilty.”
Neang Sam Sineth and Kong Sokhun, both of the Kok Chak commune police force in Siem Reap district, and provincial intervention policeman Lack Vicheka are accused of raping the 12-year-old over a three-day period from Nov 11 to Nov 13. The three reportedly fled in early December when they discovered the girl had revealed that she was raped at the Kok Chak commune police post and in the nearby jungle. The provincial court ordered arrest warrants for the three officers in March after they failed to attend questioning.
Kong Pro Loeng, deputy governor of Siem Reap district and father of suspect Kong Sokhun, said July 18 that he had been informed that his son fled to Thailand early this year.
“I don’t know if he did it or not because he has never come to see me since,” he said.
The former policemen’s alleged victim has also not been seen for months, and neither have her parents, said Lim Buntheng, Kok Chak commune police chief.
“I heard a rumor that they were afraid of the police here,” he said. “But actually we do not support our policemen who did wrong, and no one has intimidated them,” he said.
Mu Sochua, SRP secretary-general and former minister of women’s affairs, said she believed the police would be perfectly capable of arresting the three men if they wanted to.
“I do not believe they cannot find them. Do they have no ability or no will?” she asked.