Fired Military Police Officer Arrested for Fatal Shootings

Police on Friday arrested a former military police officer for shooting dead two municipal po­­lice officers in Phnom Penh last week, authorities said yesterday.

Nhiev Thoeun, 41, is alleged to have gunned down the two police of­­ficers, Roeun Po and Kong Sovichet, both 33, in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district on Aug 14 following a high-speed chase across the city.

The police officers had staked out Na­­­gaWorld, where the suspect is al­­leged to have been involved in an or­­ganized scheme to hold up foreign gamblers as they exited the casino and strip them of their winnings.

“We spent day and night hunting for the gunman,” said Chuon Narin, municipal penal police chief. “First, we arrested the suspect’s nephew, who was driving his motorbike, and then on Friday, we arrested the suspect at his house in Takhmau City, Kandal province, thanks to the assistance of his brother-in-law.”

The suspected killer had long served as a military police officer before being fired about six months ago, said Pong Savrith, deputy municipal military police commander, although he declined to specify why Mr Thoeun had been fired.

Mr Thoeun is being held in po­lice custody and will be sent to court today, Mr Narin said, adding that the police had interviewed two of Mr Thoeun’s alleged victims—one a Korean citizen and one Cam­­­bodian—who say Mr Thoeun robbed them at gunpoint.

“He disguised himself as a mu­­nicipal police officer, then robbed the two men at gunpoint, and then shot and killed our two policemen,” Mr Narin said.

“His actions were cruel…. I appeal to the court to give him a harsh sentence.”

 

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