Police in Sihanoukville arrested a Turkish businessman Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after gunmen fired up to 10 shots at his car from a passing vehicle, leaving a Cambodian man wounded outside Kampongsom City Casino on Thursday night, officials said.
Police said the shooting was a revenge attack by other foreign business owners over a stabbing.
The incident—coming less than a month after Russian men clashed violently at another casino in Sihanoukville—happened at 11 p.m. Thursday when a car pulled up behind the Turkish man’s vehicle and opened fire, said Kum Chheoun, an officer in the provincial police’s criminal intervention bureau.
“The shooting left a Cambodian man in front of Kampongsom City Casino with an injury to his right thigh,” he said.
“They wanted revenge on one another for several days already…but we arrived too late to catch them.”
Deputy provincial police chief Em Voleak said police arrested the Turkish man on Friday because a complaint had been filed against him the previous day. Mr. Voleak could not recall the man’s name.
“The Turkish man who was arrested today is the suspect who attacked another man with a knife, so we went to his boat-ticket selling business and brought him to the police station,” he said.
Provincial governor Chhit Sokhon said that groups of foreign restaurant owners were involved in a business conflict with the Turkish owner of a boating company.
“[We] assume that there are three groups who opened fire. One group is Turkish, another one is Israelis, but we are not sure about the third group…. How many members are in each group…or which restaurants are involved in the case. We need to arrest them first before we check their identity,” he said.
National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said that yet another violent attack perpetrated by foreign nationals in Sihanoukville was a very worrying development.
“I don’t know how or where these foreigners are getting all the guns, but anyway, we are very concerned and are now studying it to see what action we need to take in the near future.”