Leading Ladies Targeted for Assassinations

Police in Phnom Penh arrested two men this week in separate plots to kill high-profile women.

Hang Sokun, 39, a former de­puty police chief for Kompong Thom province, was arrested Tuesday for attempting to kill Chea Rotha, secretary of state of the Ministry of Water Resources, deputy municipal police chief Reach Sokhon said Wednesday.

Hang Sokun confessed to po­lice that he hired a gunman to kill Chea Rotha after a business argument between the two, Reach Sokhon said. He told police he gave the gunman a K-59 handgun loaded with eight bullets, as well as $450 to buy a motorcycle and gasoline.

Police declined to disclose the gunman’s identity.

In a separate case, police arrested Keo Doly, 25, an RCAF soldier of the elite B-70 brigade, on Sun­day for attempting to kill popular singer Meng Keo Pichenda, 29, said Khun Ny, deputy bureau chief of the minor crimes unit.

The morning of his arrest, Keo Doly had gone to the state-run TV5 and TV3 stations, looking for Meng Keo Pichenda, Khun Ny said. Keo Doly told police that he was hired by a man identified only as “Ty” to kill the singer for $10,000, according to the police report. He was sent to Prey Sar prison Wednesday on orders of municipal court prosecutor Ouk Savuth, pending an investigation, said Phuong Sovanrith, chief of the minor crimes unit.

“The Khmer top singer may be involved in a love story. Now our police are still investigating,” Reach Sokhon said.

Calls to Meng Keo Pichenda were unsuccessful Wednesday.

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