Teen Suspected of Stealing Resin Shot Dead

A security guard at a rubber cultivation research facility in Kompong Cham province shot and killed a teenage boy accused of stealing resin, officials said Monday.

Kompong Cham provincial Deputy Police Chief Seng Sokim said police are hunting for a suspect they believe responsible for the Wednesday killing of 17-year-old Lai Makara, which occurred in Tbong Khmum district’s Chiro II commune.

Seng Sokim said the security guard chased Lai Makara and shot him in the back with an AK-47 rifle on the suspicion that the boy was stealing resin.

Yin Song, director of the Rub­ber Research Institute of Cambo­dia, said Monday that the guard, one of 11 policing the 900-hectare facility, had tried to shoot over Lai Makara to scare off the boy, but accidentally hit him. The suspect “was very frightened and he escaped,” Yin Song said.

The director also said that theft had recently surged at rubber plantations, along with the market value of latex.

An investigator with the rights group Adhoc contended Monday that the guard had apprehended Lai Makara and then killed him.

“Our human rights organization is very concerned about shooting within the rubber plantations,” the investigator said. “If [Lai Makara] stole resin, he should have been ar­rested and turned over to police.”

A human rights investigator with Licadho said that officials from the rubber institute gave

1 million riel (about $250) to Lai Ma­kara’s family for his fun­eral.

In October, a 10-year-old boy ac­­cused of scavenging scrap latex at the Krek rubber plantation, also in Kompong Cham, was beaten by security guards until he lost consciousness and bled from his ears.

In September, a village chief from Kompong Cham’s Chhup rub­ber plantation was released after killing a 16-year-old girl. The judge ruled that the bullet had ricocheted.


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