Ung Meng Chue, a tycoon who was gunned down outside a fruit store in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district on Saturday evening, was murdered over a business dispute, police said Monday.
Deputy municipal police chief Chuon Narin, whose officers are investigating the case alongside military police and the Interior Ministry’s penal police department, said investigators “concluded the premeditated murder was related to a dispute involving the victim’s business.”
Brigadier General Narin refused to reveal any more details about the investigation, saying only that no suspects have been identified.
Security camera footage of the murder shows the gunman approach Ung Men Chue, 53, as he steps out of his Lexus SUV in front of the Lour Tech Seng Fruit Shop on Sihanouk Boulevard before shooting him repeatedly in the torso with a pistol. Police say he was shot six times.
Ung Meng Chue owned a number of businesses and was chairman of the Shimmex Group, whose subsidiaries sell construction materials, jewelry, home furnishings and real estate.
Mao Chanrith, general manager at Shimmex’s Seng Hong Heng Import & Export Transport Co. Ltd., said Monday that his boss did not always travel alone.
On the night of the murder, Mr. Chanrith said, Ung Meng Chue had instructed his driver to use another vehicle to transport a shrine he had just purchased to the Shimmex Group’s new headquarters, which are under construction in Sen Sok district.
“He bought the spirit house to pray to for good luck before it opens” on January 1, he said.
Sor Sopheak, a former human-resources supervisor at the Shimmex Group, said Ung Meng Chue had stopped at the fruit store to purchase produce that would serve as an offering at the shrine.
“He did not have a bodyguard accompanying him because he did not think he had enemies,” he said. “That was what he used to tell his employees.”