Air Force Captain, Two Others Arrested in Park Ranger Killing

Three people, including an RCAF Air Force captain, were ar-rested Sunday for alleged involvement in the killing of a Ream Na-tional Park ranger who had confiscated illegally felled timber, police said.

Preah Sihanouk provincial pol-ice chief Tak Vantha on Monday identified the arrested men as Captain Sum Sam Ath who al-

legedly owned the wood, Thorn Virak, and his son Thorn Vanna.

The three men were sent to the court to be charged Monday, Tak Vantha said, adding that police and military police were still looking for three additional suspects, including the man who fatally shot ranger Nov Kim, 40, in the throat.

Tak Vantha declined to provide details about the three men at large.

Provincial Prosecutor Bou Bun Hang said late Monday afternoon that the court had not yet received the three suspects.

Ream National Park Director Neou Karun said Monday that Nov Kim was with eight other armed rangers when they confiscated 2 cubic meters of wood be-ing transporting on two buffalo carts at about 9 pm Saturday night.

Soon after, Sum Sam Ath ar-rived on a motorbike with another man and threatened the rangers, according to Neou Karun. “He said, ‘If you confiscate this small amount of wood, be careful of trouble,’” Neou Karun said.

Later, five people arrived on a homemade truck at the scene of the confiscation.

One man holding a pistol opened a door of the rangers’ truck, pulled out Nov Kim and fired a single shot, Neou Karun said.

He added that the man then shot at the remaining rangers as they fled on foot, but didn’t hit any of them.

“This is an act of brutal killing,” he said. “We request to local au-thorities to find justice according to the law.”

Prey Nop district deputy police chief Nop Sam On said that Sum Sam Ath told police that he had asked his friends to help him get back the timber but didn’t expect them to kill anyone.



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