Commune Chief Arrested Over Grenade Attack

Police in Phnom Penh on Thursday night arrested a commune chief for allegedly ordering a grenade attack that killed an 11-year-old boy in October, while a suspected accomplice, accused of brokering the hit, was arrested on his way to Siem Reap City the same evening.

According to Eng Sorphea, chief of the municipal police’s serious crimes bureau, 50-year-old Phy Nop, chief of Kok Roka commune, hired Pov Bun Thoeun to solicit the services of two men who carried out the fatal attack. 

“Our police arrested the commune chief, Mr. Phy Nop, as he was driving his car at about 11 p.m. last night in Phnom Penh,” Mr. Sorphea said.

“The police of Prek Pnov district arrested Bun Thoeun when he on his way out of the city. Both these ar­rests were the result of skillful investigative work over the past two months,” he added.

On Sunday, police arrested the suspected perpetrator of the attack, mo­to-taxi driver Nuon Sarith, 27, who along with another suspect drove past the home of real estate broker Sorn Sin, 56, in Sen Sok district’s Khmuonh commune and threw the grenade at the family as they sat outside their home, killing his son.

Mr. Sorphea said the commune chief confessed to ordering the at­tack to take revenge on Mr. Sin, the intended victim, for ruining a business deal. The suspect apparently decided to act only after he found an old grenade lying behind the commune office.

“After he found a grenade…he organized the plan to find people to lob it at [Sorn Sin’s] house,” he said, adding that the agreed fee was $1,000 but he only paid the attackers $500 because they did not kill the right person.

The two suspects were sent to the military police headquarters in Phnom Penh for questioning and were due to be sent to the court on Friday afternoon, according to military police spokesman Kheng Tito.

Deputy municipal police chief Kheng Sovann said the two suspects—along with the suspected perpetrator—were questioned together on Friday before being placed in provisional detention.

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