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Journalist ‘extorted, sold drugs’

An amateur journalist was arrested in Kampong Thom province on Sunday on suspicion of extortion and drug trafficking, according to a provincial court official.

Say Rano, Kampong Thom provincial prosecutor, said yesterday that suspect Nhean Dorn, 38 – who holds a press card from a publication titled Somleng Sachak – had been sought by authorities for some time before his arrest.

“I charged this suspect with possessing an addictive substance and extortion, and he used my name and a provincial official’s name to deceive people for money,” Rano said.

On multiple occasions in 2014, the suspect stopped mini-tractors loaded with timber and used the name of the provincial official to extort some 100,000 riel (about $25) from the villagers who owned them, Rano continued. Later that year, on June 20, the suspect allegedly sold five small packets of drugs to an undercover officer.

Upon realising the man was an officer, the suspect ditched his motorbike, jumped in a nearby body of water and escaped.

Nhean was summonsed to court to clarify the case three times already, but never showed up.



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