A Cambodian migrant worker was shot dead by a Thai foreman at the construction site where he was working last week in Thailand’s Chachoengsao province, a border official said Sunday.
Sao Veasna, liaison officer at Poipet’s border crossing, said he had visited the scene of the crime in Chachoengsao to investigate. Witnesses there told him that the Thai foreman was called to resolve a dispute between Phat Sokim, 24, and another man at the site on Thursday, but showed up drunk.
“The foreman was drunk, he did not know the reason [for the argument], and he shot,” he said.
Phat Sokim’s wife, Khat So, said Sunday that she had also witnessed the shooting, but gave a somewhat different account. She said her husband was playing with the foreman’s nephew and drew the foreman’s ire because he thought her husband was being too rough.
“The foreman got angry when [Phat Sokim] was kicking and playing with the 10-year-old boy, who was the foreman’s nephew,” she said. “The foreman arrived and told my husband to stand next to him, and without saying anything he shot my husband six times in front of me.
“My husband was shot in the chest, the neck and both arms, in total six times, and died at the hospital,” she said.
Ms. So said the foreman fled the scene and that she returned to Banteay Meanchey province on Saturday with her husband’s body, which was cremated Sunday.
Phat Sokim’s brother-in-law, Pen Sophal, said he spent 7,000 baht (about $215), to bring the body back to Cambodia and wanted Thailand to compensate his family and apprehend the foreman.
“It was an inhuman act,” he said.
Mr. Veasna said the family was preparing a formal complaint to file with a working group that the Thailand-Cambodia Border Relations Office has set up to investigate the case. Both Mr. Veasna and Ms. So said they did not know the name of the foreman who allegedly shot Phat Sokim.
Pich Vanna, who heads the office, said the group was working with its Thai counterparts on the case, but did not elaborate.