A security guard in Kompong Cham province on Monday shot a 14-year-old boy who was allegedly trespassing on a rubber plantation, but will not face arrest after paying $550 in compensation to the boy’s family, a police official said yesterday.
Pann Thy, a 30-year-old security guard at a rubber plantation in Memot district’s Chan Moul commune, shot his AR-15 rifle in the air and into the ground to scare away a group of children who he suspected of swiping gum from the rubber plants, said deputy provincial judicial police chief Chan Hor.
One of the bullets, however, ricocheted off the ground and into the left thigh of 14-year-old Chen Nge, who lived in nearby Chamkar Chek village, Mr Hor added.
“We are not going to make any arrest,” Mr Hor said. “It is a small case and the victim’s family has compromised by accepting $550 compensation from the suspect.”
Mr Hor said that the boy’s family had not filed a complaint about the incident because they were happy with the amount of compensation they received.
Mr Hor added that the rubber plantation where the shooting occurred is owned by Interior Ministry Secretary of State Em Sam An, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A villager from Chamkar Chek village, who declined to be named for fear of retribution, said the boy had been sent to the Memot district hospital after being shot, but had since returned home.
“It is an illegal act to shoot a weapon to prevent stealing at a rubber plantation…. Someone from the authorities is ignoring this case,” the villager said.
Neang Sovath, provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that police had failed to carry out their duty to arrest the security guard who shot the boy.
“[The shooting] is criminal and they should not try to compromise by paying compensation to the victim’s family,” Mr Sovath said.
“Criminal behavior will increase if police continue to solve cases with compensation.”