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Drug cases to be tried in B’Meanchey

Ousted anti-drug czar Moek Dara will be tried in Banteay Meanchey province in connection with a bribery case that has ensnared a number of senior officials, court staff said yesterday.

Moek Dara, formerly the secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs was arrested last week along with Chea Leng, the former chief of the anti-drug office at the Ministry of Interior.

The pair were reportedly implicated by former Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Hun Hean and his deputy, Chheang Sun, who were themselves arrested earlier last week.

“Since this case happened in Banteay Meanchey, their hearing will be held in Banteay Meanchey at some point in the next six months,” Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy prosecutor Ton Sihak Teches said.
“We don’t know yet whether they will be tried on the same day or not.”

Ang Meal Tei, head of the Banteay Meanchey provincial court, said on Sunday that Moek Dara, Chea Leng, Hun Hean and Chheang Sun had been charged with receiving bribes under the Kingdom’s new penal code, which punishes the offence with a sentence of between seven and 15 years jail.

Ton Sihak Teches said, however, that the four had been charged with corruption under Article 38 of the UNTAC criminal code, an offence which carries a prison term of between three and seven years in prison.

“I am the only person who has charged these people in Banteay Meanchey,” he said.

Moek Dara was sent to Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh after being charged on Sunday, Ton Sihak Teches said, while Hun Hean and Chheang Sun are at Siem Reap provincial prison and Chea Leng is in Banteay Meanchey.

“We decided to send Moek Dara to be detained at Prey Sar because his health is not good and he has easy access to health facilities in Phnom Penh,” he said.

CRACKDOWN in banteay Meanchey
Key suspects

  • Moek Dara, secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, charged with receiving bribes
  • Chea Leng, chief of the anti-drug office at the Ministry of Interior, charged with receiving bribes
  • Hun Hean, Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief, charged with receiving bribes
  • Chheang Sun, Banteay Meanchey deputy provincial police chief, charged with receiving bribes
  • Lim Mab, Chief of anti-drug police in Banteay Meanchey, possession of counterfeit money and possession of illegal drugs
  • Nuon Vanna, head of Banteay Meanchey provincial prison, under investigation for allegedly accepting bribes allowing a prisoner to escape
  • By Nasy, administrative chief of Banteay Meanchey anti-drug office, under investigation in bribery case
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