Pawnshop Owner Found Dead in NagaWorld Bathroom

2 min read
The NagaWorld casino in Phnom Penh. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)
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A woman was found dead in a bathroom at Phnom Penh’s notorious NagaWorld casino on Monday night, as police investigate the apparent murder.

Oeng Chongech, 37, the owner of a pawnshop inside NagaWorld 1, was found dead inside a bathroom on the casino’s first floor, according to an employee of the pawn shop.

Chamkarmon district police chief Yin San said police were looking into the incident.

“The police are now investigating, and we cannot say what is behind the case,” San said. 

At Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla pagoda on Wednesday, Chongech’s husband Chan Sour hugged his son and cried nonstop. “Why did you leave me,” he said, breaking down in tears.

His relatives stood around to comfort him, and said the family was not ready to talk about the case.

The employee, who declined to give his name saying he did want to appear to be speaking for the family as he was not a relative, worked with Chongech for two months and was at the shop on the night of the apparent killing.

He and the victim’s younger brother were at the shop around 10 p.m. when they saw Chongech speaking to a regular customer near the shop.

About five minutes later, a customer wanted to pawn an item and she was no longer around. So the brother tried calling Chongech’s phone as she was the one who handled the money, the employee said. The call connected for about 20 seconds, but there was no sound.

“The call was cut, and we could not contact it anymore,” he said. When the phone repeatedly failed to connect, the younger brother grew concerned and went out to look for her while the employee stayed at the shop.

The employee later heard from a customer that Chongech was found dead in a first-floor bathroom with her throat cut.

He added that the business had both Cambodian and foreign customers, who would pawn various items like phones, gold, diamonds and motorbikes.

Phouk Solinda, NagaWorld’s media executive, said on Wednesday that she was not responsible for answering questions about the case.

The victim’s husband, Sour, spoke to TVFB’s Sovann Rithy on Tuesday that his wife’s brother had called him on Monday to say Chongech had gone missing, then that a body was found with her bracelet on it.

After the autopsy, police told him that his wife was stabbed several times in the neck, Rithy said in the TVFB interview.

“I am not clear what happened behind this. But her bag was stolen, which makes me think it is a robbery case,” he said.

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