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Prison guard charged with drug trafficking

A GUARD at Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh was among a group of three men charged with drug trafficking and placed in pretrial detention this week, an official said yesterday.

Yim Socheat, chief of the municipal anti-drug trafficking bureau, said the guard, 37-year-old Sum Savuth, and two other men were arrested in Meanchey district on Friday after police found them in possession of “seven small plastic bags” full of crystal methamphetamine, or ice.

He said Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday charged all three suspects with drug trafficking, but that all three had protested their innocence.
He identified the other two men as Mok Kongkea and Voa Dara.

“We investigated them for months before we arrested them,” Yim Socheat said. “But they did not confess to the crimes and said they were just drug users.”

Yim Socheat said the three men would not have been arrested if they were only suspected of using the drug.

“We found they were selling drugs to a group of youths,” he said. “We never arrest drug users because they are victims of drugs.” He declined to comment further on the case, citing ongoing investigations.

Prey Sar prison director Mong Kim Heng could not be reached for comment yesterday, nor could Municipal Court officials with knowledge of the case.

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