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Ex-drug czar charged with taking bribes

The secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs has been charged with receiving bribes and is in the custody of the Anticorruption Unit, national police spokesman Kirt Chantharith said today.

The NACD’s Moek Dara was detained for questioning by the Anticorruption Unit last week following the arrests of Banteay Meanchey provincial Police Chief Hun Hean and his deputy Chheang Sun, who were apprehended earlier in the week.

Kirt Chantharith said Hun Hean and Chheang Sun had implicated Moek Dara under interrogation from law enforcement officials.

“He was charged with receiving bribes from drug traffickers and he is now being detained at the Anticorruption Institution detention centre under strict control of the Anticorruption Unit and the Ministry of Interior in Phnom Penh,” Kirt Chantharith said.

Hun Hean and Chheang Sun have also been charged with receiving bribes, said Chan Kosal, the acting police chief in Banteay Meanchey.

Chhem Savuth, head of the Siem Reap provincial prison, said the pair were serving pre-trial detention at his facility.

“They are strictly protected and taken care of for their future hearings,” Chhem Savuth said today.

A jailed former anti-drug official in Banteay Meanchey province provided the information that led to the arrests of Hun Hean and Chheang Sun, Chan Kosal said.

Lim Mab, formerly the head of the anti-drug police in Banteay Meanchey, was arrested in July on drug charges.

After the arrest, however, Chan Kosal said Lim Mab’s family members had paid a bribe to senior police officials in exchange for their relative’s release.

Lim Mab was rearrested last month, Chan Kosal said, at which time he implicated Hun Hean and Chheang Sun, who were arrested last week.

“These people were arrested due to the answers and the confession of Lim Mab,” Chan Kosal said.

Chan Kosal added that By Nasy, the replacement head of the anti-drug police in Banteay Meanchey, had been arrested on Friday in connection with the case of the other officials in custody.

“By Nasy was charged with receiving bribes in the same drug case involving Hun Hean and Chheang Sun,” Chan Kosal said, adding that By Nasy was being held in Banteay Meanchey pending transfer to Siem Reap.

Sam Chankea, Banteay Meanchey provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said he had received information from law enforcement officials that Moek Dara and Chea Leang, an NACD subordinate arrested along with him, were to be transported from the ACU in Phnom Penh to Banteay Meanchey today before being detained in Siem Reap.

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