Anti-Drug Official Says Plotters Out to Kill Him

Cambodia’s deputy chief of anti-drug police said Wednesday there have been plots to kill him since a military police officer was arrested in a drug sting earlier this year.

“They planned to have a car crash into mine and if I got out of the car, they would use a gun with a silencer to shoot and kill me in a crowd,” said Heng Peo, who would not identify the suspected plotters. “They will invent a story saying that I provoked the attack,” he predicted.

Heng Peo’s remarks come five days after military police with assault rifles and an M-79 launcher fired at Interpol headquarters and his residence nearby. One bullet went through the wall of the bedroom where Heng Peo said he was sleeping at the time.

Military police couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. But some have said the incident resulted from the wrongful detainment of seven of their colleagues on suspicion of making threats against the anti-drug police.

Drug officials including Heng Peo have attributed Friday night’s shooting to last week’s conviction of Pao Chenda, a military police officer in Kandal province, on drug smuggling charges.

Heng Peo said he heard over ICOM radio an order from a commander to send four tanks to Heng Peo’s house. “They would be happy if I die and they are free from prosecution,” he said.

Friday night’s shooting also has fueled a dispute over radio communications. Military police were upset over the Ministry of Interior’s decision during the shooting to cut off their radio communication so they were un­able to call for for help.

Ouk Mara, deputy chief of the municipal military police, said military police will no longer use the telecommunications system provided by the Ministry of Interior. Interior chief of general staff Mao Chandara said the ministry cut communication during the shooting to prevent the confrontation from getting worse. Service was restored the next day.

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