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Moek Dara taken into custody

Ousted anti-drug czar Moek Dara is being held at Prey Sar prison after having been charged with receiving bribes in the Anticorruption Unit’s highest-profile case, officials said today.

Deputy military police commander Om Phearith said Moek Dara, formerly the secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, was interrogated at Banteay Meanchey provincial court on Sunday before being returned to Phnom Penh today along with Chea Leang, an NACD subordinate who was arrested along with him.

“Moek Dara was returned from Banteay Meanchey at 9:00 this morning for detention in Phnom Penh after he was interrogated by the provincial prosecutor,” Om Phearith said, adding that Chea Leang was being detained at Banteay Meanchey provincial prison.

The two were apprehended last week following the arrests of Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Hun Hean and deputy police chief Chheang Sun, whose testimony reportedly implicated the NACD officials.

Ang Meal Tei, head of the Banteay Meanchey provincial court, said the four had been charged under the Kingdom’s new penal code, which punishes receiving bribes with a sentence of between seven and 15 years jail.

Hun Hean and Chheang Sun are in pre-trial detention at Siem Reap provincial prison, acting Banteay Meanchey deputy police chief Chan Kosal said. They are being held for allegedly accepting bribes to release Lim Mab, another former Banteay Meanchey police officer who was arrested last year on drug charges.

By Nasy, the chief of Banteay Meanchey’s anti-drug police who was arrested last week, was being held for interrogation today at the office of the Anticorruption Unit, Chan Kosal added.

Kheng Sum, formerly a deputy police chief in Siem Reap province, was appointed to replace Hun Hean yesterday in a ceremony presided over by National Police chief Neth Savoeun, taking over the position in a province that has been beset by graft allegations.

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