Two Falls From Sihanoukville Buildings Under Investigation

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A police officer directs traffic in Sihanoukville on January 21, 2021. (Tran Techseng/VOD)
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Preah Sihanouk provincial police are investigating two falls this week from two separate casino and hotel buildings.

Ky Visal, Sihanoukville police chief, identified the dead man as Zhao Jinyu, aged 37. Zhao fell from the “Sikang” Hotel in Buon commune on Tuesday afternoon, he said.

“He fell down from the fourth floor after he got electrocuted,” Visal said, but would not elaborate. The police chief said he did not know whether Zhao worked at the hotel or not.

Buon commune police chief Sam Prak said the second case also happened on Tuesday afternoon, when a tradesman fell from the third floor of the “Golden Sand” casino building but landed on a pile of old wood that cushioned his fall.

“He slipped his feet while he was painting,” Prak said. “He did not die and he is being treated at the hospital. … He broke his right leg.”

Visal, the Sihanoukville police chief, said the provincial police’s serious crimes unit was continuing to investigate the two incidents, including checking surveillance footage. He added that there had been similar cases of deaths in the city this year, but there was no tally yet as to how many.

Crime and suicides in the city have attracted the attention of officials, including Interior Minister Sar Kheng who ordered a crackdown earlier this month on kidnappings, robberies, homicides, torture and drug crimes. Sihanoukville has also been noted as one of the centers of alleged slave compounds where workers — many trafficked — are forced to perpetrate global online scams.

Amid the reports, Kheng last week issued a decision to remove provincial police deputy chief Y Sokha from handling public security, and appointing another deputy police chief, Si Thoeun Tola, in his place.

Local media reports, including from government-aligned Fresh News, said National Police deputy chief Dy Vichea met with private security companies and casinos in Sihanoukville on March 17 about public order in the city. The Interior Ministry’s deputy immigration director Ouk Hai Seila and private security director Lim Sokha Rasmey, as well as provincial officials, are also reported to have attended.

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