National Police chief Neth Savoeun on Tuesday rebuked police in Kompong Speu province for allowing a man in a Mercedes-Benz SUV to escape after he fired a handgun 33 times in the air in apparent protest at a $3 speeding fine.
According to police, the suspect fired a Glock pistol after the driver of the Mercedes GL320 was pulled over in Chbar Mon City on Saturday for driving 95 kph through the well-populated area where the speed limit is 40 kph.
Speaking at the National Police’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, General Savoeun blamed Kompong Speu police chief Keo Pisey for nurturing a toothless force.
“I have no need to ask for a reason why they let the offenders escape, but I conclude that the provincial police chief’s management is very weak,” Gen. Savoeun said.
“I list the provincial police, district police and commune police chiefs in Kompong Speu as being very weak. They do not have the power to intervene.
“I have ordered Keo Pisey to send the shooting case to the court to let the court manage this case according to the law, because we have already identified the offenders.”
The National Police on Tuesday distributed images of the national ID card for the owner of the Mercedes, which identifies him as Choeng Sinath, a 40-year-old native of Kompong Cham province’s Kroch Chhmar district and lists his home address.
Deputy Kompong Speu police chief Suom Bora said Tuesday afternoon that he was driving to Kompong Cham to investigate the lead with a view to apprehending Mr. Sinath, who is presumed to be in hiding. Mr. Bora added that the registration details associated with the Mercedes’ license-plate number —recorded when officers stopped the vehicle on Saturday—initially led them to Mr. Sinath.
“I am now traveling to Kompong Cham to investigate and search for the offender because we suspect the Mercedes owner is involved in the shooting, as he escaped to the provinces after they fired over police,” Mr. Bora said.