No Arrests Yet Over French Woman’s Murder
By | February 13, 2013

Kampot provincial police on Monday said they were still investigating the murder of a 25-year-old French woman over the weekend and had yet to identify any suspects. 

The victim was staying at Les Manguiers guesthouse in Kampot City and was last seen leaving the grounds on a bicycle on Saturday afternoon. Her body was discovered Sunday afternoon naked and washed up on a riverbank near the guesthouse with lacerations to the head and arms.

Deputy provincial police chief In Chiva confirmed that the victim was French tourist Ophelie Begnis and that police believed she was murdered but had yet to confirm or rule out the possibility of rape.

“We haven’t figured out the case yet because we still don’t know where exactly the crime happened and we are still working on it,” Mr. Chiva said.

French Embassy First Secretary Nicolas Baudouin said by email on Monday that the embassy was working closely with the Ministry of Interior on the case.

“An investigation is currently [being] conducted by the police to determine the exact circumstances and causes of the death. The family of the victim has been informed,” Mr. Baudouin said.

The victim’s body arrived at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and will remain there until relatives arrive to identify it, said Heng Sean, who runs the hospital’s morgue.

“We are not examining it anymore as the Kampot provincial hospital has already done it and according to the report it just said that the victim was murdered,” Mr. Sean said.

Chhuy Chhoum, director at Kampot provincial referral hospital, declined to comment on his examination.

(Additional reporting by Dene-Hern Chen)

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Three Vietnamese nationals were arrested in Sihanoukville on Wednesday afternoon for kidnapping two 34-year-old Vietnamese men and demanding a $7,000 ransom from each of their families after luring them across the border on the pretense of a gambling trip, police said.

About 50 fired factory workers protested in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal court Wednesday after two of the factory’s five union representatives were summoned for questioning following strikes in February.

The appointment of General Sok Phal to head the Interior Ministry’s newly formed department to monitor migrant workers has raised concerns over his close familial connection to a labor recruitment industry fraught with human rights abuses.

As military police with AK-47s descended on protesting garment workers during their nationwide strike on January 3, Sam Ravy, a manager at one of the many factories along Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Street, was on the phone with his mother-in-law.

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