Three Men Accused of Trying to Torch Market

A district official was among three men charged in Siem Reap provincial court Monday for attempting to burn down a Chik­reng district market last week, officials said Tuesday.

Kang Chhum, 52, and his cousin Kang Raing, 40, were arrested Friday at the scene of the fire, which caused minimal damage at Kampong Kdei market, officials said.

A third man, Ly Chor, 51, the district’s bureau chief of social affairs, was arrested Sunday for allegedly masterminding the arson attempt.

Kampong Kdei market, located along National Route 6, was the target of two other arson at­tempts, on Feb 14 and May 20, Chea Buntha said.

Those two fires destroyed

43 stores, causing about $500,000 in damages. No suspects were arrested.

All three are awaiting trial in Siem Reap prison, Investigating Judge Ang Mealeatey said.

“They could be punished from one to three years in jail,” he said.

Kang Chhum confessed to police that Ly Chor hired him to burn down the market for about $100 but declined to say why, said Phoeun Arun, bureau chief of Siem Reap’s Minor Crimes Police.

Ly Chor, who until two years ago was the market’s tax collector, denied the allegations, officials said, though the court de­tained him while it investigated further.

Ly Chor was fired from the market in 2002 after several vendors complained that he mistreated them, Kampong Kdei market director Chea Buntha said Tues­day .


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