Victim’s brother was intended target, police say
Police in Kandal province are searching for a 29-year-old gang leader who doused a man with gasoline and set him on fire in Loeuk Dek district last month, according to deputy district police chief Sim Sarin.
On Sept 21, Lach Channa allegedly doused Sal Piseth, 20, with gasoline and set him on fire in Kompong Phnom commune, Mr Sarin said. When Mr Piseth’s 18-year-old sister, Sal Srey Pich, tried to help put out the flames, she was badly burned as well.
“They are alive, but their beauty is gone,” said Mr Sarin, adding that police believe that Mr Channa was allegedly trying to attack the siblings’ younger brother, 17-year-old Sal Vesna, as a punishment for leaving the gang, but that he escaped unharmed.
“It is a revenge case because their younger brother separated from the offender’s gang,” he said.
Ms Srey Pich is now at home after being treated for her burns, but Mr Piseth is still being cared for at the special burns unit at Phnom Penh’s Preah Kossamak Hospital.
“His condition is stable but not improving,” said a doctor who is treating the injured man at Kossamak hospital.
The suspect, Mr Channa, has a criminal record, district police chief Ros Chantha said yesterday.
According to the police chief, Mr Channa is a known gang leader and has been arrested on two previous occasions on assault charges, though he was found not guilty by the court on both occasions.
Nevertheless, said Mr Chantha, “This is the first time that this [type of incident] has happened in our district.”
District police investigators believe the suspect is hiding in either Phnom Penh, Kompong Thom or Svay Rieng, said Mr Chantha. He added that a warrant for Mr Channa’s arrest was issued on Oct 9.