Body Dug Up in Preah Sihanouk, ‘Monkey King’ Arrested

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Preah Sihanouk military police (Military police Facebook page)
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A corpse was dug up in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nob district, a man soon arrested in a neighboring province for murder, and now Sihanoukville’s Chinese community is full of talk about what may have happened between “Blue Star” and the “Monkey King.”

Touch Klouth, O’Oknha Heng commune’s deputy police chief, said that within the past few days a foreign man’s body was unearthed in Ou Ta Sek village.

“The provincial military police investigated it,” Klouth said, but added he could not give much more information. “It was a foreign man.”

Sek Sony, the military police’s provincial head of the serious crimes, said a Chinese suspect was arrested for the suspected murder. The killing itself was believed to have happened in Sihanoukville’s Buon commune around 9 a.m. on October 26, he said.

“I have no right to give clarification about this case. You have to ask the boss. … Ask His Excellency Heng Bunty, the commander.”

Bunty hung up when told he was speaking to a VOD reporter.

Takeo province’s Kiri Vong district deputy police chief Heam Srim said military police units from Takeo and Preah Sihanouk had worked together to arrest the suspect on Friday in his district, but he was not involved.

Though authorities remained tight-lipped about the murder, WeChat groups of Chinese residents buzzed with talk about the man they believed to be the victim, known as “Blue Star,” and the suspect, “Monkey King.”

Though it would be unusual in China, many Chinese residents in Cambodia use nicknames, shrouding their real identities. Those in the scam industry most commonly adopt the code names, but even restaurateurs and others — especially in Sihanoukville — have also adopted the practice.

A Sihanoukville resident who declined to be named out of fear for his safety said he knew the Monkey King, a generous businessman who had frequently invited guests to his compound for meals.

The resident shared his recent digital chats with the businessman, and they contained repeated invitations. “Dine at the villa at night, brother,” one message says.

Last month, the resident accepted an invitation to the “villa” and saw a compound containing multiple office buildings and restaurants. The Monkey King talked about looking for investors for a casino and KTV in the compound, the resident said.

Now that he knows about the alleged murder, he feels lucky to have come out alive, he said.

“I’m afraid. Seriously, I should thank him for sparing my life,” the resident said, adding that he thought it was because the Monkey King could tell during the conversation that he was poor and had little to offer.

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