City Wants Controls on Acid Sales

Governor Chea Sophara said he has formally requested police to tighten controls on acid sales amid a rising number of acid attacks in the capital.

“Recently we have so many cases that injure so many people,” Chea Sophara said Wed­nesday.

He said his office recently issued a letter urging municipal police, including district police chiefs, to instruct market vendors only to sell to those with licenses for a handicraft in which nitric acid is used, such as jewelry or engine repair.

Vendors should record the address of the buyer of the acid, Chea Sophara added. He also said the city possesses a record of acid distributors in the city, though he conceded it was probably not 100 percent accurate. Chea Sophara said he issued the letter Dec 27.

However, Uch Thorn, deputy police chief of Don Penh district where Phsar Thmei is located, said Wednesday that his office had not yet seen the letter.

“Maybe tomorrow,” Uch Thorn said, adding that a backlog of paperwork had built up from the millennium holiday.

Acid attacks are not uncommon in cases involving jealous spouses or acts of revenge, but a recent case involving 18-year-old karaoke singer Tang Samarina has put such incidents in high profile. In that case, Chamkar Mon district police have identified as a suspect Khuon Sophal, wife of Svay Sitha, undersecretary of state for the Council of Ministers.

(Additional reporting by Saing Soenthrith)


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