Second suspect in South Korean barrel murder arrested in Cambodia

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2024

Phnom Penh police track down suspect linked to body found in Chonburi reservoir.

A South Korean man called Lee Youngjin was arrested in Phnom Penh on Monday over the murder of a fellow national in Thailand, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.

The case came to light after Thai police officers investigating the disappearance of 34-year-old Roh Eui Jong were led to a body stuffed into a 200-litre plastic barrel weighed down with concrete and submerged in a reservoir in Chonburi’s Bang Lamung district.

The victim’s fingers were severed in what Thai police suspect was a move to hamper identification efforts.

Roh Eui Jong was reported missing on May 3 after his mother in South Korea received a phone call demanding a ransom of 3 million baht for his release. The caller said the money was for a drug deal gone wrong.

Meanwhile, deputy Metropolitan Police chief Pol Maj-General Noppasilp Poonsawat said on Tuesday that initial DNA tests confirmed the victim’s identity and an international arrest warrant (red notice) has been issued for three South Korean suspects going by the names of Lee Roun, Kim Hyeonggwon and Lee Youngjin.

Lee Roun was arrested earlier on Monday in South Korea and is now being interrogated by Incheon police. He is reportedly claiming his innocence. 

Cambodian authorities, meanwhile, have said that Lee Youngjin will be sent to South Korea to be interrogated by Gyeongnam police.

Investigators believe the last suspect Kim Hyeonggwon is still at large in Thailand.