Man Found Dead on Thai-Cambodian Border

An unidentified man was found dead Thursday morning on the grounds of the Star Vegas Casino in Poipet City, local police said.

A customer stumbled upon the dead body under a coconut tree when walking in the garden of the casino at 8 a.m. on Thursday, according to Poipet City police chief Um Sophal. The man’s face was destroyed by gashes that police suspect were made by an ax, he said. 

“The suspect was about 40 years old and he was killed by someone who used an ax to stab his face; it looks horrible,” Mr. Sophal said.

Mr. Sophal, who is in charge of the murder investigation, said police have not yet determined the identity of the victim.

“I am busy questioning people involved in the case, so now we cannot identify the victim, we need time to investigate,” he said.

“This is a murder case, and he is Cambodian, but we don’t know who he is and why he died. I think the man was killed two days ago.”

However, General Pech Vanna, director of the military’s Thai-Cambodian border relations office, said he believed the victim was a Thai national.

“I saw the victim and he looks Thai, but I don’t know if he crossed the border to gamble in the casino or for something else,” Mr. Vanna said.

Sem Makara, deputy border police chief at the Poipet International Checkpoint, said three Thai soldiers arrived in Poipet City on Friday afternoon to join the investigation and would attempt to ascertain whether the victim was Thai or Cambodian.

“The Thai soldiers have come to determine the nationality of the victim,” Mr. Makara said, adding that police had not found records of the victim’s passport at the Poipet International Checkpoint.

“The victim did not use a passport to cross the border. If he did we would know where he is from,” he said.

Mr. Makara added that the victim’s body is currently in Trach pagoda in Poipet commune, and said an autopsy would be performed Saturday.

odom@cambodiadaily.com

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