Cambodian suspect arrested for Japanese businessman’s murder


BANGKOK, May 3 – Thai Immigration police on Friday arrested a Cambodian man for allegedly killing a Japanese businessman after he robbed the victim of his gambling takings in Poi Pet.

The suspect escaped to hide in Thailand. He is wanted by Cambodian authorities and has a long standing criminal record.

Identified as Sok Na, 28, together with four companions, killed Kitakura Kosei, 44, a Japanese businessman based in Phnom Penh on March 3. They took US$18,000 cash.

The gang was observing the casino in Poi Pet. Once they saw Mr Kitakura win at gambling, they signaled one another in their group and lured the victim to use their bicycle rickshaw service.

The Japanese man was shot dead with a 9mm gun while on the road, and the suspects escaped separate ways.

Cambodian authorities had earlier arrested three members of the group.

Mr Sok and another group member received about US$400 to spend during the Songkran holiday in Thailand. Mr Sok then left to work at a shop in Thailand before being arrested by the Thai authorities, while the other man is believed to be still hiding in eastern Thailand.

Cambodian police are seeking Sok Na in two murder cases last year, the first involving robbing and killing a Khmer student and the second involving the death of a Chinese tourist.