Cambodian cop arrested for shooting dead Vietnamese gold shop owner

By Cuu Long, Phuc Hung   July 17, 2016 | 02:49 am PT
Cambodian cop arrested for shooting dead Vietnamese gold shop owner
Lay Buon Thi, the Cambodian police officer with the short gun he used to kill the Vietnamese gold shop owner. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long
Restaurant row turns into blood-bath in southern Vietnam.

A Cambodian police officer allegedly killed a Vietnamese gold shop owner and injured another in a restaurant in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on Saturday.

An Giang shares a 100km border with Cambodia.

Initial investigations show that Lay Buon Thi, 52, deputy commander of Cambodia’s Tham Dung Border Gate Police Station, has a house and runs his own business in An Giang’s Tinh Bien Town. At about 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Thi and three other Cambodian men drove a car from Cambodia to have dinner at Huong Xua Restaurant in Tinh Bien.

Two locals, Le Van Duoc, 38, a gold shop owner in Ba Chuc Town, Tri Ton District, and Le Van Quang, who works at cock fighting arenas in Cambodia, invited Thi to drink some beer, but an argument between Thi and Quang erupted.

Thi left the restaurant and returned from his nearby house with a K59 pistol. The Cambodian police officer held down Quang and shot him in the shoulder, according to investigators. Duoc tried to step in but Thi shot him in the head and chest, killing him instantly, according to a witness.

The Cambodian officer fled the scene and returned to his house. He shot at the people chasing him but no one was hurt. After that, he locked himself inside and stayed there, the Vietnamese police said.

Vietnamese armed forces, nearly 100 people, surrounded the two-storey house overnight trying to persuade him to surrender. The stand-off lasted until 5:00 a.m. Sunday when Thi finally came out.

Searching the house, Vietnamese authorities found three guns, including a K59, a K54 and 500 bullets, according to Colonel Ly Ke Tung, deputy commander of An Giang Border Guard Force.

General Bui Be Tu, director of An Giang Police, told VnExpress that police have detained Thi for further investigation. “The incident took place in Vietnam, so it will be dealt with in accordance with Vietnamese laws,” he said.

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