A grenade booby-trap was discovered at the house of a prominent Chinese banker, only meters from the US Embassy on Sunday night, officials said.
The grenade did not explode and no one was injured. Phnom Penh police and military police said Monday the explosive was not a threat to the US Embassy, though it was within 15 meters of its concrete barricades.
“It is not involved with the US Embassy, it’s a personal dispute,” said Deputy Municipal Police Chief Heng Pov. He declined to comment further.
Military police said a private security guard found the Chinese-made grenade at about 11:30 pm hanging from the gate of a house on Street 228. A rubber band holding the grenade’s trigger was soaked in corrosive diesel, and the grenade was set to explode within 15 minutes when it was found, they said.
The house belongs to Oknha Yim Sui Sang, director of Union Commercial Bank Ltd and chairman of the China, Hong Kong and Macau Business Association of Cambodia, police said.
“If the grenade had exploded, some people would have been injured at least, or died,” said Seng Song, commander of municipal military police. “We do not know the motive. It is personal revenge or a business dispute,” he said.
As military police patrolled the neighborhood Monday morning, up to 20 military police officers and private security guards were stationed outside Union Commercial Bank on Street 130.
Contacted by phone Monday, Yim Sui Sang said he was unaware of the incident. “I have no idea on this. I have nothing to say,” he said before hanging up.
Sunday’s discovery marked the second time this month that a grenade was left at the house of a Union Commercial Bank administrator, Seng Song said. In a similar incident, a grenade was left at a bank deputy director’s house in Phsar Kandal commune on March 13, he said. No one was injured in that incident.
US Embassy spokeswoman Heide Bronke said the embassy is confident Sunday’s incident was not linked to the diplomatic compound.