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Police raided a Takeo province marijuana farm yesterday, destroying more than 25,000 plants. KIRIVONG DISTRICT POLICE

Pot goes up in smoke as growers disappear

Police in Takeo province’s Kiri Vong district destroyed more than 25,000 marijuana plants yesterday, but did not make any arrests, local officials said.

According to district police chief Youk Sarath, 40 police officers destroyed 77 separate plots of marijuana in Kiri Vong’s Chroy village, in Preah Bat Chonchum commune. They also removed the plastic casings from 14 man-made ponds that were used to store water for the plants.

It will be difficult to find the individuals responsible for planting the marijuana because the town’s inhabitants are “defiant”, Sarath said. The owner of the land claims to rent the land to others for cultivation, but has refused to reveal the identity of the people using his land.

“If we bring the land owner to face the law, he will just say that he does not know who the culprits are,” Sarath noted, adding that police are still looking for the growers.

Sarath said he believed the marijuana would have been transported to Preah Sihanouk province.

Tep Bros, another district police officer who went to destroy the plants, said the crops were located about five kilometres behind the village in an area that can only be accessed by foot.

“No one was at the farms, but if they had been there then we would have arrested them,” Bros said. “All we can do now is destroy the plants and look for the owners.”

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