Undercover Police Officer Chopped To Death in Drug Bust Gone Wrong

An undercover anti-narcotics police officer in Stung Treng province was hacked to death with a machete on Wednesday after he tried to arrest three brothers who had allegedly met him for a staged drug deal, police officials said Friday.

One of the brothers had his hand chopped off in the struggle to kill the police officer and another brother was shot in the shoulder, police said.

Nov Leng died instantly from a blow to the head after he pointed his gun at Hom Tong, 27, Hom Ham, 25, and Hom Han, 23, who had allegedly scheduled a meeting thinking they would sell Mr Leng 590 methamphetamine pills, said Nou Hour, provincial police chief for anti-drug trafficking.

At the rendezvous in Thala Barivat district’s O’Svay commune, the youngest brother handed over the drugs to the officer who then revealed his true identity and told the men they were under arrest.

Despite a gun pointed at them, the middle brother grabbed a machete and proceeded to attack the officer, the police chief said.

“The trafficker hacked his head to death when he pointed the gun,” Mr Hour said.

In the fray, the middle brother also chopped off the left hand of the youngest brother, while the policeman’s gun accidentally discharged hitting the eldest brother, Mr Hour said.

“Two of them were seriously injured. Their relatives sent them to the provincial hospital, but Mr Hom Tong [who was shot] was sent to a hospital in Phnom Penh,” he said.

“The suspect, Mr Hom Ham, confessed that these drugs belonged to them, and his brother Hom Tong bought them from Laos,” he added.

The three men are scheduled to appear in court on Saturday.

Yon Din, deputy provincial police chief, said 2010 has been a busy year so far for anti-drug police in Stung Treng. While there were 12 drug cases in 2009, there have been three in January alone, he said.

“This case is the most serious because a undercover policeman died,” he said.

Hou Sam Ol, provincial monitor for Adhoc, said: “The suspect’s mother told me that her sons did not traffick drugs.”


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