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General released after bust

A two-star general of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces was released by Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after being arrested for attempting to obstruct police from investigating a drug bust that occurred on his property, Judge Kim Rothnarin said.

Hak Mao, deputy commander of RCAF brigade G70, and his bodyguard, Keo Tong, were arrested Sunday evening after preventing an investigation of a home owned by Mao in Tuol Kork district on October 4.

Rothnarin said Mao was released and the investigation dropped against him yesterday, although Tong was charged with menace and obstruction of police enforcement and remains in pre-trial detention.

A drug raid on October 3 uncovered renter Huot Voleak, 20, in possession of eight packages of ecstasy and $2,000.

Mao and Tong, along with four to five of his bodyguards, attempted to quell an investigation the following day that ultimately uncovered one package of ecstasy in Voleak’s rented room, according to local police.

“It is the right of the court to detain anyone found guilty and release the innocent,” said Kheng Tito, spokesman for the National Military Police, which ordered the arrest of Mao and Tong.

Tito maintained yesterday that his officers made the arrest based on the order of Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lieng Sarith at



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