Couple Murder Nephew in Kratie Over $12.50 Debt

A married couple were arrested on Tuesday in Kratie province on suspicion of murdering their nephew so that they would not have to repay a loan of around $12.50, police said Thursday.

The victim, Heab Yoeun, 37, was a small-scale gold miner who had lent his aunt and uncle 50,000 riel but was demanding that they repay the money.

On Monday evening, Heab Yoeun went to their house in Sambor district’s Kompong Cham commune, once again seeking repayment, and when they refused to hand over the cash, he decided to spend the night in a hammock below their house, according to commune chief Chhit Norn.

As he slept, his uncle, Meas Rom, 64, and aunt, Tith Kun, 50, crept downstairs and set upon him. First, Mr. Rom hacked his nephew with an ax until he was unconscious, and then Ms. Kun beat him to death with a wooden club, Mr. Norn said.

“They killed the victim because they were angry that he always came over and demanded that they pay him 50,000 riel that they owed him,” Mr. Norn said.

When the aunt and uncle realized that they had killed Heab Yoern, they became afraid and asked a neighbor to help them bury the corpse in the forest. That man, Sar Chruy, later informed local police, who arrested the couple, said Sambor district deputy police chief Chhin Sambo.

“After receiving this information, we arrested the suspects and called Mr. Chruy to help us find the victim’s body,” Mr. Sambo said. “We dug up the grave and saw that the victim had been hacked twice with an ax and beaten about the head with a club.”

Police are holding the two suspects at the provincial police station for questioning.

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