RCAF To Investigate Soldier’s Disappearance

RCAF Military Region 5 has formed a committee to investigate the case of a soldier who allegedly disappeared from a Pailin rubber plantation run by a two-star general, officials said.

Chhoung Makara, Pailin coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said his organization received a complaint Aug 16 from the family of Im Bunny, a 33-year-old soldier of Region 5’s Battalion 504, claiming that he was arrested by several plantation bodyguards Aug 10 for allegedly stealing a pistol.

The family said that Im Bunny had been missing since his alleged detention at the Sala Krao district plantation, which is operated by Major General Pol Sinuon, Chho­ung Makara said.

Military Region 5 Commander Major General Bun Seng said officials from Region 5, Pailin Governor Y Chhien, municipal police and military police are all investigating the disappearance of the soldier, but he would not say whether Pol Sinuon was a focus of the investigation.

“I believe we can solve the problem, but a solution is not expected soon,” Bun Seng said. “Our com­mit­tee is investigating now.”

Pol Sinuon could not be reached for comment.

Municipal police chief Lav Chan Chhay confirmed that his officers are actively working with Region 5 officials to investigate the case.

“I hope the issue can be resolv­ed,” he said, but declined to give further details because the investigation is ongoing.

Y Chhien could not be reached Aug 22, and his deputy Ieng Vuth declined to comment, saying it was a military matter.

Prum Patt, commander of Bat­tal­ion 504, said he is upset by the disappearance of his soldier. He said the investigating committee has already turned up some information, but he declined to publicize it.

“We know some information already, but we’re not able to reveal it until the investigation is completed,” Prum Patt said.

Im Sokhom, a brother of Im Bunny, said the family is worried. “If my brother broke any law, police should arrest him and send him to court, not company bodyguards,” he said.


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