One of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephews was among seven men arrested early Friday morning after a drunken shooting spree at the Hollywood nightclub in the Parkway Square shopping mall in Phnom Penh, police officials said Friday.
Sim Hong, Phnom Penh military police chief, and Lek Vannak, municipal judicial police chief, said Friday that 24-year-old Hun Chea and six other men were arrested at 1 am Friday following a shooting spree in the night club’s karaoke room and a snooker hall at the Parkway. Shots also were fired at police, police officials said.
Also arrested, according to Sim Hong, were Chou Sarida, a cabinet assistant in the Senate; That Touch, a Phnom Penh clothes-shop owner; Sok Visal, an employee of Total oil company; Som Mang, an immigration police officer; David Phang, marketing manager with The Vision newspaper; and Michel Soriya, identified by police as a relative of Prince Norodom Chakrapong.
The seven are being detained at municipal military police headquarters, and will be charged with using illegal weapons, Sim Hong said. It wasn’t clear Friday how much jail time a conviction could bring. No one was injured in the shooting spree.
According to Sim Hong, the latest incident started when three bullets were fired in a Hollywood Club karaoke room at around 10:15 Thursday night.
Some 30 military police and 20 district police responded, but were reluctant to move on the group when notified the nephew of Hun Sen and children of other high-ranking officials were involved, Sim Hong said.
Police were then fired on as members of the group drove away from the Parkway center around midnight, he said.
Only one of the group was arrested then, but police confiscated some of the cars.
Sim Hong said that Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara then ordered police to arrest the group even though Hun Sen’s nephew was among them. Chea Sophara said Friday that the arrests were made when the group returned to the Parkway center to demand their cars back from police.
“They came back with many men to fight again with police and military police. They were all drunk. [Police] invited them back up to the karaoke room to negotiate for the cars then we arrested and put handcuffs on them,” said Chea Sophara.
Chea Sophara added that Hun Sen agreed with the arrests.
“[Hun Sen] agrees fully with me. [Hun Chea] is a very bad guy. We cannot allow a strong man do what a small man cannot do. It would not be fair,” said Chea Sophara.
The court will now deal with the seven men, he added.