Police Officer Arrested for Setting Friend On Fire

A police officer was arrested in Kratie province on Friday for killing his friend by setting him alight in order to steal his gold necklace in Kompong Cham City last week, police said Sunday.

After he was arrested, Heng Maren, 42, Kompong Cham provincial deputy bureau chief of accounts, confessed to pouring petrol on 49-year-old Thuch Sarthat and then setting him on fire at the victim’s rental house before stealing his necklace, valued at about $3,000, provincial penal police chief San Sophea said.

“He told police that he took the necklace from the victim, but declined to say why he set Mr. Sothat on fire. We are going to send Mr. Maren to court for questioning and he’ll be charged [today],” Mr. Sophea said.

Mr. Maren and the victim had known each other for a long time and used to go drinking together every night, Mr. Sophea said, adding that the suspect “told police that he fled to Phnom Penh the night he committed the crime.”

Witnesses also told police they saw the suspect and victim drinking together for two days straight, and the owner of the rental house, Ket Kimsry, told police that he saw Mr. Maren run out of the house after the victim was set on fire.

Mr. Sathat succumbed to his injuries in Phnom Penh hospital later that day.

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