Already wanted by police for her suspected involvement in an acid attack, Chea Ratha was removed as a National Military Police deputy-commander chief of staff and an international Interpol hunt is under way for her arrest, officials said Wednesday.
Chea Ratha was removed from her position May 14, the same day the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued an arrest warrant for her alleged connection to a May 6 acid attack that seriously disfigured a Phnom Penh woman, Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said.
“We have to end the position of her or other officers who are involved in a crime after a proposal from the courts to investigate these people,” Khieu Kanharith said Wednesday.
Chea Ratha is wanted by police on suspicion of “intentional killing” and “intentional injury,” according to her arrest warrant and additional warrants that have been issued by the court for three other suspects.
Police also said that last week an Interpol “red notice” was issued for Chea Ratha, which enables other countries with an extradition agreement with Cambodia to arrest her and send her back to Phnom Penh, said Keo Vathan, first deputy-director of Cambodia’s Interpol office.
“I asked the secretary-general of the Interpol office in each country to cooperate with Cambodia’s Interpol office and arrest Chea Ratha,” he said.
Keo Vathan said last week that he believed Chea Ratha is hiding in Thailand, which has had an extradition treaty with Cambodia since 2001.
The warrant for Chea Ratha has been forwarded to investigating judge Suon Samnang, said Ek Cheng Huot, deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha could not be reached for comment.