A 49-year-old man died Sunday after being set on fire in Kompong Cham City by a friend who was allegedly trying to steal his valuable gold necklace, police said Monday.
Thuoch Sathat, who worked at the local branch of the National Bank of Cambodia, succumbed to his horrific injuries in a Phnom Penh hospital several hours after the attack, Kompong Cham City police chief Sam Phat said.
“Before the fire happened, the suspect and the victim were drinking together at a rental house in Veal Vong commune,” Mr. Phat said, adding that witnesses had seen the two together.
“After drinking, they went to bed and when the victim fell asleep, the suspect poured gasoline on him and set him on fire.”
He said that the suspect—who is on the run and whose name the police do not know—was intent on taking the victim’s necklace, which weighed two damlung, valued at about $3,000. The necklace was missing from the victim’s neck when he was taken to hospital.
“Thuoch Sathat was set on fire and his injuries were serious—he died in the hospital,” Mr. Phat said.
“The police are investigating and will try to arrest the suspect and send him to court,” he said.
Thuoch Sathat had worked as a bank teller. His body was returned to his family in Kompong Cham province’s Prey Chhor district.
Au Phin, provincial investigator for rights group Adhoc, said the owner of the rental apartment, Ket Kimsry, told police the suspect fled at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
“Ket Kimsry tried to help the victim,” Mr. Phin said, adding that the victim had begun renting the property just one week before his death.
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