Suspect in Drug Raid Killings a Police Officer

The alleged drug dealer accused of killing two anti-narcotics police officers—and shooting three others—is himself an Interior Ministry policeman, the Phnom Penh Muni­cipal Court said Thursday.

“Kep Samon is an anti-trafficking police officer for the Interior Ministry,” municipal court Prose­cu­tor Kry Sok Y said by telephone.

The court charged Kep Samon, 27, on Thursday with intentional killing, illegal use of a weapon and drug trafficking, Kry Sok Y said. He added that two of Kep Samon’s alleged accomplices, identified only as Thy, 27, and Ly, 35, were also charged with drug trafficking and are being sought by police.

“Both of them are at large. They are charged with drug trafficking,” Kry Sok Y said.

Interior Ministry Anti-Human Trafficking Department Director Bith Kimhong declined to comment on whether Kep Samon is one of his officers.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sop­heak said he would check Kep Samon’s status at the ministry.

“Sorry, I didn’t know about him, but we will check his name,” he said.

On Tuesday, anti-drug police officers arrested Kep Samon for alleged drug trafficking in a guesthouse room in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Thmei II commune.

With his hands cuffed in front of him, Kep Samon is alleged to have reached inside his trousers to retrieve a concealed Colt-45 pistol and proceeded to shoot five officers.

Anti-drug trafficking police officer Chhoeung Virak, 36, died instantly from a bullet wound in the chest, and officer Sreng Bunareth, 37, died Wednesday morning from a bullet wound to his stomach.

The three injured officers, Soeung Yutha, 37, Chi Bunleng, 25, and Ung Chanthy, 35, are being treated for gunshot wounds at Calmette Hospital and are in stable condition, municipal anti-drug police chief Touch Muysor said.

Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema, along with municipal police officials, presided over Chhoeung Virak’s cremation at Wat Langka on Thursday. A funeral ceremony for Sreng Bunareth will be held today at Wat Langka.

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