Thong Sarath, a senior Defense Ministry official wanted for the November murder of tycoon Ung Meng Chue, was arrested by Vietnamese police Thursday after months on the run, the head of Cambodia’s Interpol office said on Friday.
“The Vietnamese police arrested him yesterday and he has been sent to Cambodian police,” said Lim Sokha Raksmey, acting head of Cambodia’s Interpol office, declining to comment further.
Major General Sarath, 37, was placed on the international police agency’s list of most wanted criminals in December after being charged by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for orchestrating the murder of Ung Meng Chue, chairman of the Shimmex Group.
Four of Maj. Gen. Sarath’s bodyguards have been imprisoned for carrying out the assassination, and the general’s parents have been jailed on charges of illegal weapons possession following raids on the family’s Phnom Penh villas.
Ung Meng Chue was shot numerous times as he stepped out of his SUV outside a fruit store in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district on the evening of November 22.
During his months on the run, Maj. Gen. Sarath—a wealthy businessman himself—has posted online a number of audio and video clips pleading his innocence and calling on Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene and ensure he receives a fair trial.