kandal province – Police in Kandal province said Monday they were searching for the killers of the 83-year-old chief of a Khsach Kandal district pagoda who was found bludgeoned to death.
Pin Sim, acting chief monk of Prek Ampil commune’s Wat Prekrobao, was found bound hand and foot in his sleeping quarters Sunday morning with a broken neck and ribs, and having suffered blows to the head, commune police Chief Nhem Khim said Sunday.
“He was found dead at 7 am by a laywoman bringing his breakfast,” he said. “Villagers in Prek Ampil commune are distraught after their chief monk being killed,” he added.
Police said they had yet to establish a definite motive in the killing, but they suspect robbery by young gang members.
“We are finding it hard to say the monk chief was killed for robbery because the monk was missing only one hand phone, though we don’t know how much money was stolen,” Nhem Khim said.
Mom Vanny, 74, head layman at the pagoda, said neither Pin Sim, who became acting chief in 1999, nor any of the pagoda’s other inhabitants had had any conflicts.
“We have not had any problems in our pagoda,” he said, adding that about $125 in cash had been taken from Pin Sim.
Oum Chhorn, 71, the pagoda’s second acting chief monk, said youth gang members had in the past entered the pagoda at night.
“I am also scared of the gangs because some young drug addicts came into our pagoda and yelled and ran around inside the pagoda,” Oum Chhorn said. “So I never leave the sleeping room,” he said.
Pen Sim’s son Sim Oun, 48, said he was in shock.
“When I heard that my father was killed yesterday…. I hurried to the pagoda and saw my father was dead with a broken neck and both hands and legs tied,” he said, expressing disbelief at the brutality of the crime.