Man held for setting houses on fire

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Houses in Siem Reap province’s Puok district were burnt. Supplied

A man has been charged and held in pre-trial detention for arson, damaging four houses in Roeul commune in Siem Reap province’s Puok district.

La Leat, 47, also known as Thy, was charged by Investigating Judge Than Khung and sent to the provincial prison, said provincial court spokesperson Yin Srang on Thursday.

“The judge charged him with intentional damage under Article 410 of the Criminal Code,” Srang said.

The article stipulates that the act is punishable by imprisonment from six to 24 months and a fine of between one and four million riel ($250-$1,000), depending on how serious the destruction is.

Puok district police chief Tep Pomsen said the suspect, under the influence of alcohol, set four wooden houses in his village on fire on Monday when the owners were out working.

Several television sets, motorbikes, wood pieces and some cash, Pomsen said, were among the things consumed by the fire.

The police went to the scene and arrested the suspect a few hours later, upon receiving reports from the neighbours.

Pomsen suspected Thy of being an alcoholic with mental disorders as a result of his wife leaving him and being by himself for many years.

According to Swift News, the fire also spread to a nearby forest and rice field. The owners of the houses were identified as Nhan Loeu, 53; Proeum Kong, 24; Pheav Nob, 58; and Soeum Sorn, 54.