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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lengthy spying op nets drug suspects

Lengthy spying op nets drug suspects

An undercover drug investigation spanning at least three months culminated in a raid in Prey Veng’s Pea Reang district this week and led to the arrest of two suspected drug traffickers and another on illegal weapon allegations. 

Chreuk Chhunlai, Pea Reang commune police chief, said yesterday that a joint effort between commune and district police forces resulted in a two-day drug raid on Monday and Tuesday in the Phnao village in Pea Reang commune.

Oth Choeun, 46, and his wife Yan Khorn, 45, were arrested while they were allegedly distributing methamphetamine from their home on Monday. Police said they confiscated 160 yama tablets in the raid.

The arrests led police to the home of 33-year-old Hoeun Hean, who they accuse of being one of the biggest drug traffickers in Prey Veng, according to testimony from witnesses.

During a raid on his home on Tuesday, police were not able to find any drugs but seized an AK-47 rifle from his home.

“Before we could arrest them, our police spent many months investigating them and our officers also worked as spies in their organisation, because they distribute drugs very carefully,” Chreuk Chhunlai said, adding that police will continue their investigation to infiltrate a much larger drug ring.

On April 5, National Police chief Neth Savoeun ordered provincial and district police officials to target drug use, distribution and trafficking across the country, threatening to fire those who did not comply.

Between January and the beginning of April this year, there have been 194 cases of drug trafficking and drug abuse charges processed by police, culminating in the arrest of 432 suspects including 37 foreigners from six different countries, according to the most recent report from the Anti-Drug Trafficking Department at the Ministry of Interior.



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