A POLICEMAN in Battambang province has been charged with drug trafficking after being arrested on Friday while trying to sell methamphetamine pills at a train station, officials said Sunday, marking the second time in less than a month that a policeman has been accused of dealing drugs.
Oak Samnang, 31, was charged at the provincial court on Sunday, said Chao Sovong, the chief of Battambang’s anti-drug trafficking police bureau.
Chao Sovong said Oak Samnang had been in possession of 79 meth pills and a parcel of crystal meth, also known as ice, at the time of his arrest, which was carried out one day after Kim Samnang, his alleged accomplice, implicated him in a drug-trafficking ring during a round of police questioning.
“Kim Samnang told us he had a subordinate who he dealt with who was a police official, which led us to the arrest of Oak Samnang,” he said.
Kim Samnang was also charged at Battambang provincial court on Sunday, Chao Sovong added.
“Our primary charges of drug smuggling stemmed from their confessions to running this operation for about a year,” he said.
We are terribly sorry that some police officials have shown wrong moral ethics.
On May 17, police in Preah Sihanouk province arrested police officer Lim Samay for involvement in an alleged drug-trafficking ring. Two of his children and a soldier were also held in connection with that ring, which police said been operational for months.
All four have been charged with drug trafficking, and three of them are serving pretrial detention.
Earlier in May, military police announced that, following a raid in the capital that yielded 400 grams of meth, they were investigating a police official at the Interior Ministry thought to be the head of a Phnom Penh-based drug-trafficking ring. That official remains at large.
Last October, Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged Touch Muysor, the former head of the city’s Anti-drug Trafficking Bureau, with possession of illegal drugs and bribery. He was arrested after a search of his office netted 8,000 meth pills worth around US$100,000.
Touch Muysor remains in pretrial detention.
On Sunday, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak reiterated his position that the cases are not indicative of widespread police involvement in drug trafficking.
“We are terribly sorry that some police officials have shown wrong moral ethics, but they are individual matters,” he said. “Numerous police officials are doing good work.”