A 19-year-old man arrested last week has confessed to the September 5 murder of a former military police officer in Phnom Penh as well as the killing of a rubber plantation foreman in Mondolkiri province last year, court and military police officials said Monday.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Oum Sopheak said Eng Sieng, 19, confessed during questioning by the court Monday to the fatal shooting of former Prey Veng provincial military police officer Nuo Kimsan.
“He confessed that he committed the crime,” the deputy prosecutor said. “We sent him to the investigating judge for more questioning. I have asked the judge to put him in pretrial detention.”
Phann Daravuth, a deputy municipal military police chief, said the judge, Taing Sunlay, charged Mr. Sieng with premeditated murder and using an illegal weapon.
Nuo Kimsan’s bullet-riddled body was found on September 6 in an empty field in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district.
Mr. Sieng was arrested on Thursday in Kompong Speu province for the murder, Mr. Daravuth said.
Nuo Kimsan, who turned to the illicit trade of bear bladders, porcupine stomachs and other wild animal parts after leaving the military police, had arranged to meet Mr. Sieng on September 5 at a roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Camko City to discuss a deal with the suspect’s unidentified “Chinese boss,” according to Mr. Daravuth.
He said Mr. Sieng’s boss had placed an order and wanted to meet Nuo Kimsan at an empty field in Russei Keo district later that day. But after Mr. Sieng and Nuo Kimsan drove to the field in the victim’s Toyota Highlander and waited for several hours, according to Mr. Daravuth, Nuo Kimsan decided to leave. It was at that point, he continued, that Mr. Sieng, who was sitting in the back seat, opened fire.
“The suspect shot the victim dead from behind, hitting the victim in the head three times and shooting him in the body four times,” he said.
Mr. Daravuth said Mr. Sieng then went to get the SUV cleaned and sold it at a pawnshop the following day for $9,000.
During the course of his questioning Monday, Mr. Sieng was asked if he was guilty of any other crimes, at which point he also confessed to killing the Chinese supervisor of a rubber plantation in Mondolkiri province last year, he said.
“He confessed that he shot the Chinese foreman…because he got angry after the Chinese man fired his friend from his job and forced the Cambodian workers to work overtime,” he said, adding that he could not recall the name or age of the foreman.