Heng Pov’s Assistants Face Weapons Charges for Weapons

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday charged five assistants to former municipal police chief Heng Pov with illegal possession of weap­ons and detained them at Prey Sar prison, court officials said.

Chief Prosecutor Ouk Savouth said the five men, who had worked with Heng Pov as his computer as­sistant, his driver, gardener and bodyguards, were charged under Article 20 of the 1999 law on illegal pos­session of weapons. Their case was passed to Investigating Judge Kim Ravy who ordered the five detained in prison, Ouk Sa­vouth said.

Police searched Heng Pov’s Tak­h­mau district and Phnom Penh homes last week, arresting eight men, as well as seizing firearms, counterfeit US currency and $300,000 in cash. They have also frozen a local bank account containing $1 million in the former police chief’s name.

National police chief Hok Lun­dy, who has accused Heng Pov of masterminding an assassination and two other attempted assassinations, said Heng Pov remains in Singa­pore, where he fled on July 23.

A senior police officer speaking on condition of anonymity identified the five suspects as Chea Kimseng, 46, An Vannak, 26, Sok Paraing, 25, Yim Sokhoeun, 37, and Pheng So­chea, 25. Three other men ar­rest­ed dur­ing the raid on Heng Pov’s houses were released, the official said.

Lawyer Ket Khy, who is representing three of the suspects, said his clients did not own the nine assault rifles and handguns found at Heng Pov’s residence.

“The weapons did not belong to them. There is no evidence to prove this charge,” he said.

Around 20 relatives of the arrested men were present at the municipal court on Friday, many weeping as the five were led away in handcuffs.

Him Huot, 57, the father of Pheng Sochea, Heng Pov’s gardener who is also a law student, said his son had lived with the fallen police chief since 1990.

Him Huot said that Heng Pov visited their village in Kandal province and seeing how poor they were, kindly offered to raise and educate his son.

“I depended all on Heng Pov,” he said.

 

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