Son of Ex-Ambassador Shot Dead by Police

Two bag-snatchers, one of them the son of a former Cam­bodian ambassador to Indonesia, were shot dead by muni­cipal police opposite the Ministry of De­fense on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Kul Masinoel, 25, and Doun Sopheak, 26, shot at police from inside Kul Masinoel’s home in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chork commune, said municipal police Chief Heng Pov.

“Kul Masinoel exchanged gunfire with our police, so the police shot to de­fend themselves,” he said.

Drug addiction had driven Kul Masinoel to commit crimes for which he was imprisoned on three occasions, and he had even threatened his own parents for money, Heng Pov added.

“Now my son is dead,” said former ambassador Kul Someat, while standing over his son’s body, still too shocked even to shed tears. “I am finished of my suffering that he created from 1993 until today. I am sorry, but I had no way to help him,” he said.

In the interest of stopping crime, Kul Someat said he had cooperated with police to catch his eldest of four children.

“I took him to Jakarta, Indo­nesia…so that he would avoid crime and drug use, but my son would still not change,” he said.

“I counseled him for many years until I could not guide him any more,” the former ambassador added.

Information about the second suspect, Doun Sopheak, was not available at the scene.

Heng Pov said that a lead in the case followed the arrest Monday of Keo Bunthoeun, 26, who told police that a handgun recently fired into a car during a robbery was in Kul Masinoel’s possession.

Keo Bunthoeun has been ar­rest­ed and imprisoned many times, he said.

But his family has repeatedly been able to secure his release by man­ipulating the courts, Heng Pov added.

Ten ladies’ purses, four phone cards, ID cards, drugs and smoking equipment were confiscated at the scene of the shooting, Heng Pov said.

He implored victims of grab-and-go robberies to report them to police so that criminals’ patterns can be tracked.


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