Men Confess to Killing Friends on Fishing Trip

Two young men were arrested in Stung Treng province on Tuesday for killing two other men during a fishing excursion over the weekend, officials said on Wednesday.

Sam Chanthoeun, 23, and Vin Da, 21, were arrested on Tuesday evening after military police found the bodies of Khun Sokban, 23, and Phors, 25, in a forested area of Sesan district, according to deputy provincial military police commander Siv Sameth, who said he could not recall the full name of the second victim.

“We arrested the suspects because they hacked their friends to death in the jungle near the river” where they had been fishing on Sunday, Mr. Sameth said.

He said the four friends went fishing on a river in the district, but that only Mr. Chanthoeun and Mr. Da returned home in the evening. The suspects told a neighbor that they had become separated in the forest, but when the other two again failed to return on Monday, a relative of one of them filed a complaint with military police, he said.

Under questioning by military police, Mr. Chanthoeun and Mr. Da confessed to hacking their friends to death with a machete and a meat cleaver, and then led investigators to the scene of the crime, where the bodies were found, the deputy commander said.

“We pressed both suspects to tell us the truth after we got some clues from them. Then they confessed that they had killed their friends,” he said. “We found two bodies laying upside down in the jungle near the river, about 10 meters apart.”

The suspects said that they murdered their friends when a verbal dispute escalated during the outing on Sunday, and that one of the victims had threatened to use an electrified rod—a commonly used but illegal fishing tool—to shock them, Mr. Sameth said.

The suspects are due to be questioned at the Stung Treng Provincial Court today.

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