In its issue of Nov 17 to 26, Angkor Thom magazine appears to have a dramatic exclusive: an interview with Suon Pheakdei, better known as VJ Ano, the TV3 network star who has been missing for several weeks amid rumors that she was severely injured in a razor attack, and perhaps dead.
“Now she comes to tell Angkor Thom magazine that no such thing happened to her,” Ankor Thom reporter Him Vichet wrote.
The problem is, no one seems able to confirm the magazine’s reports of Suon Pheakdei’s well-being, including her TV3 coworkers.
“I don’t know where she’s been, even though I play her role sometimes,” TV3 VJ Yim Nara said Sunday. “It’s unbelievable, but I haven’t seen her since [she disappeared], and because we are colleagues, I worry about her.”
“She likes to be isolated, and no one here knows her address,” she added.
TV3 Director-General Kham Poun Keomony, VJ Chea Racmoon, and presenter Chear Vibol all said they had heard nothing from Suon Pheakdei, and could not verify the authenticity of the Angkor Thom magazine article.
Chan Soveth, chief investigator for Adhoc, a local rights group that has been looking into the case, said that he had received information that Suon Pheakdei is alive, but could not confirm it.
“It seems like someone is trying to cover up the story,” he said. “I tried to contact her friends and family but they refuse to talk in detail. They might be under some pressure, and her real address is secret, so it’s hard to find the truth.”
Vietnam state media reported last week that Suon Pheakdei had been treated and released from a Ho Chi Minh City hospital for serious injuries, but the hospital declined to confirm this.
Reached by phone, Him Vichet, author of the Angkor Thom article, insisted that his story was true, and said he is friends with the missing TV presenter.
He said that Suon Pheakdei had been “abroad,” but he could not specify where she traveled or say where she is now. He was able to interview her Nov 10, he said, because she called him Nov 9.
“I don’t know her new address and phone number, however,” he said.
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