banlung, Ratanakkiri province – Six people have been arrested following the robbery and killing of two men and a woman at a cashew nut plantation Saturday evening, police said Monday.
The victims—Thea Kiek, 56, company director of Phnom Penh-based Emma Co Ltd, plantation manager Heng Chan Thy, 38, and his wife Srey Ka, 30—were bludgeoned to death with clubs and an iron bar while they slept in a hut on their 100-hectare cashew nut plantation in Bokeo district, police said.
“The three victims did not even get a chance to move,” provincial police deputy chief Chea Bunthoeun said.
The 8-month-old daughter of Heng Chan Thy and Srey Ka was also in the hut but was unharmed.
Chea Bunthoeun said police arrested Hak Eng Ly, 42, who was a manager at the plantation, along with five other men Sunday afternoon. Two other suspects are still at large, he said.
After the arrests, police seized a total of $5,000 from the suspects and found two AK47s hidden near the scene of the killings that they believed were intended for use during the robbery but had not been discharged.
“The six who we arrested have all confessed to planning and executing the crime,” Chea Bunthoeun said. The suspects will be brought to court today.
Hak Eng Ly confessed to having organized the robbery because he knew that Thea Kiek was carrying a large amount of cash to pay for the cashew nuts he was planning to bring back to Phnom Penh, Chea Bunthoeun said.
A further $8,000 of the victims’ money remained unaccounted for, Chea Bunthoeun said, adding that it was likely to be in the possession of the two perpetrators still at large.
All the perpetrators and the three victims were originally from Kompong Cham province, Chea Bunthoeun said.
According to him, the victims and their alleged killers had attended the same wedding party the Saturday prior to the attack.