Burned Woman Will Live; Casino Probe on Hold

A woman who was set on fire by her boyfriend inside a casino along the Vietnamese border will survive the attack but will likely be permanently disabled, a local police official said Monday.

The victim, Voeng Kim Eng, 21, was doused with alcohol and set on fire by her boyfriend, Run Chamroeun, 28, and his friend, Pov Piden, 23, early Friday morning.

Ms. Kim Eng was sent to Vietnam for treatment of severe burns sustained in the attack, which took place in a bedroom at GMG Casino in Kompong Cham province’s Ponhea Krek district, where both the victim and the suspects worked.

Provincial police chief Ben Rath said that although Ms. Kim Eng’s life had appeared in peril, she is now likely to survive—albeit with life-changing injuries.

“The victim is rescued and is still alive in a hospital in Vietnam, but will be disabled because of her serious wounds,” he said.

On Sunday, police said that GMG Casino had attempted to cover up the attack and did not call police to the scene of the crime, instead quietly sending the victim to the district hospital for treatment.

Police only discovered the truth about the attack after villagers saw Ms. Kim Eng being transported to Vietnam and reported the case.

Mr. Rath said that GMG appeared to be guilty of conspiracy and withholding evidence, and that it should face legal charges over the matter, but that it would be difficult to hold the casino to account.

“By law, the casino should be punished, but we cannot do anything,” he said.

He refused to elaborate on why police were unable to act, but added, “We will think later about the investigation of the casino.”

Mr. Rath added that the two suspects in the case, who were arrested by police on Saturday, were scheduled to be sent to Kompong Cham Provincial Court to face charges today.

GMG Casino could not be reached for comment, but Bou Vireak, the provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, said the casino was a large operation comprising a hotel, multiple restaurants, card games, electronic gaming machines and cock-fighting—which was banned by Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2009.

Mr. Vireak said GMG was a popular place for young adults in their 20s to find temporary work as card dealers or security guards.

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