More than 100 police and military police officials have been deployed to boost security around Pailin municipality after a second man was robbed and killed in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold in recent weeks.
“We are deploying our policemen and military policemen to crack down on robbery and prevent any robberies from happening in this area,” Pailin deputy municipal police chief Phat Thea said on Tuesday.
“Our police’s deployment will affect people’s business and people might be confused and worried, but for their security, we have to take action,” he said.
The police crackdown comes after Sao Sokha, a 72-year-old Buddhist priest and fortune teller at Wat Korn Kang, was shot dead around 1 am Monday, police said.
Sao Sokha was shot once in the left shoulder after a scuffle with robbers. Sao Sokha’s wife was also beaten with a club during the incident, police said. About $1,280, some jewelry and two hand phones were taken from the house, they added.
Witnesses told police that three men in military uniform had come to the victim’s house the previous afternoon to have their fortunes told. Several hours later, witnesses said, three men went to the house and robbed and killed Sao Sokha, but police said they could not confirm the suspects were the same people.
“We do not know if it is the same three men or another group,” Chea Chandin, another deputy municipal police chief, said Tuesday.
Police were still searching for suspects on Thursday.
Only days earlier, another man was robbed and killed in Pailin, police said, though they did not have details about the case.
Robberies in Pailin have been rare, as perpetrators feared the punishment of the area’s former Khmer Rouge inhabitants.
“Before we never had robberies here. But since many new people have settled in Pailin, robberies have started,” one Pailin police official said.