Farmer Collared For Killing Wizard Neighbour With AK-47

Story BySimon GloverSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyAsia Wire Report

Cops believe this farmer killed his neighbour by sneaking under his house and shooting him with a machine gun through the floor because he thought the victim was practising witchcraft on his family.

Norn Mao, 39, is accused of killing neighbour Phchuch Phos, also 39, at his home in Sre Chhouk commune in the Kaev Seima District of eastern Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Province.

He allegedly told cops he crawled underneath his rival’s wooden home and then shot him with an AK-47 machine gun through the floor as he lay in his bed.

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Major General Lor Sokha, chief of police in Mondulkiri Province, said Mao had confessed to killing his neighbour who he accused of being a sorcerer.

He explained: “According to his confession, he said the reason why he shot the victim was because he was angry at him for committing sorcery on him and his family to make them sick.”

Mao, a father-of-five, and Mr Phos, a father-of-seven, had a long-running history of disputes over the border between their farms.

The farmer allegedly demonstrated to police how he shot his neighbour with the AK-47 after making sure he was home alone.

Police said Mao sneaked under Phos’ house and then fired two bullets into his victim from below, killing him instantly.

He then hid the weapon in the forest before running home where he pretended to know nothing about what had happened.

The victim’s wife and children, who were visiting a neighbour, heard the shots and went back home to find his body.

Police say Mao told a fellow villager what he had done, again claiming Mr Phos was a sorcerer, after getting drunk after the murder.

Cops later arrested Mao at his home. He allegedly came clean, showing officers where he had hid the gun and demonstrating how he had killed Mr Phos.

Maj Gen Sokha said Mao was accused of premeditated murder and faced up to a life sentence if found guilty. He is being held in custody ahead of a trial.