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Moek Dara accused of torture


Former anti-drug czar Moek Dara exits the Court of Appeal in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

In June 2009, Morn Doeun, the former head of Cambodian drug czar Moek Dara’s Special Operations Team, tortured a suspected drug trafficker and confiscated his property before locking him up then releasing him on a bribe, said Court of Appeal Judge Chay Chandaravann yesterday.

The hearing was for the last two of 25 criminal cases on appeal in which Dara and Doeun, who has evaded police capture to date and remains a fugitive, are accused of receiving bribes and leading criminal activities from 2007 to early 2011.

In the second to last case, Chandaravann said that Doeun led anti-drug forces to crack down on a drug trafficking network in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town. After making an arrest and confiscating thousands of methamphetamine pills, Doeun moved on to another suspected drug dealer named Ing Chhy.

No drugs were found at the house, so Douen, Chandaravann said, took another route.

“Morn Doeun tortured and beat Ing Chhy, and forced him to confess that he was a drug trafficker,” he said.

“He confiscated US$30,000, a couple of golden rings, a couple of diamond rings, a number of Khmer and Thai currency, one luxury motorbike and one Toyota Landcruiser from him.”

He added that after the arrest, Doeun arranged Chhy’s release in exchange for bribes.

In the final case, Chandaravann said that in August 2009, Doeun lead authorities in a raid of the Hollywood Night Club in Poipet Town, where they arrested two drug dealers and seized a vast cache of narcotics.

Chandaravann said that Dara then called Doeun and asked him not to send them to court for charges because Dara had been promised $100,000.

He added that after faking the two drug traffickers’ case, Dara divvied up the loot to Doeun and other associates, almost all of whom are serving prison sentences.

Dara denied the charges against him. The appeal continues today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at



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