RCAF General Arrested Over 2006 Land Dispute

More than a year after his arrest warrant was issued, an RCAF brigadier general was apprehended on Saturday on property damage charges relating to a land dispute he had with a villager in Kandal province in 2006, police officials said yesterday.

Kompong Chhnang province-based Brigadier General Um Eng, 53, was arrested at about 12:30 pm on Saturday as he rode his motorbike through Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district, said district police chief Tith Vong.

“We arrested him using the court arrest warrant, but I did not know that he was a RCAF brigadier general,” Mr Vong said yesterday, adding that district police had sent him to the provincial police station in Takhmao City after the arrest.

Mr Vong said it had been difficult tracking Brig Gen Eng down, because police did not know he was an RCAF officer who was based at the Longvek base in Kompong Chhnang, adding that the arrest warrant was issued on June 30, 2009.

Kandal Provincial Court Judge Sin Virak said yesterday that while the arrest warrant did not specify the nature of the charges against the RCAF general, the case related to allegations that Brig Gen Eng destroyed a neighbor’s fence on May 30, 2006.

“This case [was] a land dispute between the one-star general and elder man Poy Pot, 60, who is a villager in Ang Snuol’s Samraong Loeu district, [where the general used to live],” Mr Virak said.

Ang Snuol’s Tuol Pich commune police chief Khun Sam Ath said commune officers stopped Brig Gen Eng after being notified of his movements by district police, who were in the process of trying to catch up with the RCAF officer after sighting him earlier in the day.

“We stopped him while he was riding his motorbike across my commune and later, one of our district police arrested him and read the arrest warrant issued by the investigation judge,” Mr Sam Ath said.

Kandal provincial police chief Iv Chamroeun said yesterday that Brig Gen Eng had been released on bail after appearing at Kandal Provincial Court on Saturday afternoon.

Brig Gen Eng could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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