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Five held on drug trafficking charges

PHNOM Penh Municipal court yesterday charged five people with drug trafficking following their arrest in a raid in the capital earlier this week, said Sok Roeun, deputy prosecutor at the court.

“I have charged them today with drug trafficking committed in Cambodia. They are now being sent to prison [to await] their trials in the future,” Sok Roeun said.

He said the group were arrested during a raid in Stung Meanchey commune on Monday night, an operation that was carried out by anti-drug police in collaboration with Meanchey district authorities.

Moek Dara, secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said that the arrest of the five alleged smugglers was made possible by the effective cooperation between multiple branches of the police force.

He said on Wednesday that officials had also seized nearly 7 million flu tablets containing the ingredient pseudoephedrine, which can be chemically altered to produce methamphetamine and other forms of  amphetamines.

“This is another big crackdown on drug trafficking made by our authorities in Phnom Penh at the end of this year,” he said.

Moek Dara added that the authorities are now working hard to continue investigations into other individuals who could be part of the same drug trafficking network.

According to a report released by the NACD yesterday, a total of 272 drug-related cases were prosecuted between January 1 and September 30 this year, while 233 cases were brought to court in the whole of 2009.

The NACD figures show that 536 people were arrested on drug charges in the first nine months of 2010, compared to the 467 people arrested on similar charges in 2009 – an increase of 14.8 percent.

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