Man Allegedly Killed For Helping To Stop Illegal Fishing

Two fishermen were charged on Friday for their roles in the alleged murder of a man who was helping provincial fisheries administration officials crack down on illegal fishing in Takeo province’s Kiri Vong district, police and court officials said yesterday.

Yuk Sarath, Kiri Vong district police chief, said yesterday that police were looking to arrest three others suspected of attacking the victim and a team of fisheries administration officials during a crackdown on illegal fishing practices last Wednesday.

Mr Sarath said Kang Rath, a 29-year-old who had volunteered to help provide information about illegal fishing in Prey Ampoak commune, was killed when he and six fisheries administration officials confronted five fishermen using batteries to electrocute fish in the reservoir.

He said the attack occurred at about 12 pm. “Now, we are investigating to arrest more suspects,” Mr Sarath said, adding that villagers regularly used up to 50 batteries to electrocute fish in the reservoir.

Meas Sopheak, Takeo Provincial Court prosecutor, said yesterday that he charged suspects Nuon Mos, 51, and Men Born, 41, with murder.

“I charged them with murder on Friday,” he said. “Fisheries officials cracked down on illegal fishing [Wednesday], but were attacked by illegal fishermen.”

Mr Sopheak said the victim had been sliced across his chin. He said he also believed that the victim had been electrocuted during the incident, as there were black scars left across his chest.

Mr Sopheak said he had handed the case over to a Takeo Provincial Court judge, who he said would continue to investigate in a bid to track down the other three suspects.

A second volunteer who was helping fisheries administration officials also suffered injuries during Wednesday’s attack and is recovering at a Takeo provincial hospital, he added.

Kiri Vong district governor Toek Tonglim, said yesterday that despite the crackdown by fisheries administration officials, local fishermen were continuing to illegally use batteries to electrocute fish.

Takeo provincial fisheries administration officials could not reached for comment yesterday.

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