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Drug raid on capital hotel sees four held

Four suspected drug dealers were arrested at 8:30 on Wednesday evening when a raid on their rooms at the capital’s Sokha Hotel uncovered 500 grams of methamphetamine, a set of scales and smoking paraphernalia, Chroy Changvar district police chief Chan Buntheoun said yesterday.

Three of those arrested, two men and a woman, are Chinese nationals, while the fourth is a woman from Vietnam, said Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs.

He described the raid as one of a series of recent drug-related arrests, saying that Phnom Penh police “are gathering information about small groups, [in hopes] it might give us information leading to the arrest of big ones”.

Police chief Buntheoun said some of those arrested had been in residence for about a month at the hotel. They are now being detained at the Phnom Penh municipal police’s anti-narcotics department.

Chinese Consul Yang Qinglian had not been notified of the arrests of the three Chinese citizens by yesterday afternoon. Kouch Uy, his assistant, said this was not unusual.

“Sometimes [the Cambodian police] report [arrests], sometimes they don’t report; sometimes they report early, sometimes they report so late, and sometimes they just do not report.”

Neither the Vietnamese Embassy nor representatives of the Sokha Hotel were available for comment.

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