Police have no leads as to who carried out Friday morning’s Cambodian Freedom Fighters graffiti raid on several public buildings in Phnom Penh. But opposition party leader Sam Rainsy has accused government authorities of engineering the event to target political opponents.
Chamkar Mon district police Chief Hun Sothy said Monday that no one saw the mysterious and repeated spray-painting of the CFF acronym and the first letter of the Khmer alphabet on the perimeter walls of the French Embassy, the CPP’s Apsara television and radio station, two pagodas and a school. “If we had a witness, we would know who they are. We are still investigating,” he said.
Daun Penh district police Chief Phan Peng said police on motorcycles were patrolling early Friday morning yet saw nothing.
People living near the buildings targeted by the alleged CFF sympathizers, said Monday that they were baffled by the culprits’ ability to go undetected.
“I wonder why no one noticed it. It’s very strange,” said the owner of a newspaper stand on Street 360, where red paint was sprayed on the Apsara TV station’s wall.
Street 360 connects Norodom and Monivong boulevards and there are many high-ranking officials with security guards living on the street, the vendor added.
A food vendor working near the French Embassy was also baffled as to how the vandals could spray the CFF acronym more than 50 times on the wall of the compound without disturbing the police who guard the building.
“Look, it would take almost an hour,” said the vendor, who declined to be named. “Why didn’t the police see anyone?”
In an e-mail message received Sunday, opposition leader Sam Rainsy said authorities engineered the event “to create an atmosphere of fear so as to intimidate the democratic opposition.”
“Democratic, legal and peaceful opponents will be accused of crimes invented by the CPP-controlled government using a subservient judiciary, which is their political tool to eliminate the opposition,” Sam Rainsy wrote.
Municipal police Commissioner Heng Pov could not be reached for comment Monday.