Cambodian cop gets 25 years for shooting dead Vietnamese gold shop owner

By Cuu Long   March 7, 2017 | 07:56 pm PT
Cambodian cop gets 25 years for shooting dead Vietnamese gold shop owner
Lay Buon Thi, 53, deputy commander of a Cambodia’s border gate police station at a Vietnamese court in southern Vietnam on March 7, 2017. Photo by VnExpress
The officer opened fire following an argument at a restaurant in southern Vietnam last year.

A Vietnamese court has sentenced a Cambodian police officer to 25 years in prison for killing a local gold shop owner and injuring another in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang in 2016.

The An Giang People’s Court also forced Lay Buon Thi, 53, deputy commander of a Cambodian border gate police station, to pay compensation of more than VND240 million ($10,500). An Giang shares a 100 kilometer (62 miles) border with Cambodia.

Investigations show that Thi had a house and ran his own business in An Giang’s Tinh Bien Town. At about 8:00 p.m. on July 16 last year, Thi and three other Cambodian men drove a car from Cambodia to have dinner at a restaurant in Tinh Bien.

Two locals, Le Van Duoc, a local gold shop owner, 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 witnesses.

The Cambodian officer fled the scene, shooting at his pursuers as he went but without injuring any of them. He made it back to his house and locked himself inside, Vietnamese police said.

Vietnamese armed forces surrounded the two-storey house overnight and tried to persuade him to surrender. The stand-off lasted until 5:00 a.m. on July 17 when Thi finally came out.

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

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