Official Says Guard Failed to Investigate Attack

The anti-terrorist police official who temporarily became a monk af­ter a run-in with the son of one of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguards earlier this year has again ac­cused police of failing to investigate an new attack against him.

Pheng Vannak, municipal anti-terrorist police deputy chief, said he was driving to work Monday morning when two men on a mo­tor­bike kicked his car. He chased the men and stopped them.

When other police came, Pheng Vannak said they telephoned Lo Methona, an assistant to Hing Bunheang, deputy com­man­der of Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit.

When Lo Methona arrived at the scene, he told the two men to leave and for a police complaint to be filed against him personally.

Pheng Vannak said Monday that such a complaint was unlikely given Lo Methona’s status.

“Police do not dare solve the case because they are afraid of Lo Methona,” said Pheng Vannak. “[Lo Methona] used his power to pressure people,” Pheng Vannak said. “Even me—I am police—but he abused my rights too.”

Lo Me­tho­na said Monday that his brother-in-law was riding the motorbike—Lo Me­tho­na’s fa­ther was the passenger—and kicked the car because Pheng Van­­nak was about to run into them. “He protected their lives,” he said, adding that he only men­tioned he was Hing Bunheang’s assistant because Pheng Vannak had threatened to call the prime minister’s bodyguards for help.

Lao Methona also said he told Pheng Vannak to drop the case because the car wasn’t damaged and Pheng Vannak had chased the motorbike.

Chuum Savuth, police chief of Meanchey district’s Chak An­gre Leu commune, said the car was da­­maged and that Pheng Vannak and Lo Methona were yelling at each other at the scene of the accident. He said he was re­luc­tant to get involved. “Because the two sides have power, they on­ly cause trouble for the local po­lice.”

In August, Pheng Vannak be­came a Buddhist monk after a guns-drawn encounter with Hing Chamroeun, son of Hing Bunheang, the deputy commander of Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit. He re­turned to work two weeks later at his boss’ request.

Related Stories

Latest News