AN anti-drug-trafficking police chief has been suspended from normal duties pending an investigation after 8,000 methamphetamine pills, worth about US$100,000, were found in his possession.
Touch Muysor, head of the anti-drug-trafficking bureau within the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, was questioned by officials from the Ministry of Interior, National Police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation on suspicion of possessing illegal substances on October 12.
A day later, a search of his office produced the tablets, and Touch Muysor was suspended from his duties as police chief but allowed to continue “normal” work within the police station, according to National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith.
“Touch Muysor’s suspension from his position as the municipal police chief of the anti-drug trafficking bureau and transfer to another position is normal procedure carried out according to the law,” Kirt Chantharith said on Wednesday.
Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth confirmed that Touch Muysor had been suspended from his normal duties but emphasised that the arrangement was a temporary one.
“We just suspended his position temporarily and allowed him to work as a normal staff member at the Phnom Penh Municipal Police station,” he said.
Sok Sam Oeun, director of the Cambodian Defenders Project (CDP), an NGO that provides legal aid to the poor and vulnerable, explained that Touch Muysor would face serious consequences if convicted. “He will be fired immediately if he is found guilty and will be prosecuted by the court,” Sok Sam Oeun said.
Chhay Sinaridth, who led the Ministry of Interior’s initial investigation, declined to comment. Touch Muysor said: “Yes, I am suspended. I am terribly sorry I cannot answer any more of your questions.”