After months of investigation, anti-drug officials with the Ministry of Interior cooperated with police forces in three Phnom Penh districts to arrest four suspected drug traffickers, seizing 8 kilograms of drugs on Saturday, according to the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD).
Meas Virith, spokesman for the NACD, said forces were “secretly deployed” at their target locations, namely at Dey Houy market in Sen Sok district and the Sambo Meas Borey apartment block, which straddles Dangkor and Meanchey districts.
The arrests fall into the second phase of a controversial nationwide drug crackdown, which was initially intended to end in June but has since been extended. During the first phase, more than 8,000 alleged drug users and traffickers were arrested.
Virith yesterday said that during the second phase, authorities have so far arrested 3,466 people in a total of 1,566 cases. He said that of these, 1,042 were drug trafficking cases and 524 were drug use cases, and that those arrested were sent to court and rehabilitation centres.
Virith said the group arrested on Saturday included three Cambodians and one Laotian, and that three of them lived in Stung Treng province, while the other lived in Phnom Penh, but declined to give further details.
“The case is being investigated by the experts, so please give the authorities time to procedurally investigate in order to find and bring the drug mastermind to justice,” he said.
According to anti-drug official Yin Panharith, of the Ministry of Interior, the suspects are being interrogated by experts in order to prepare a criminal complaint to be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
“They were arrested in a red-handed case . . . when they were about to open the drug distribution of about 8 kilograms” of crystal methamphetamine, he said. “It took three months for the authorities to hunt them down.”
Anti-drug authorities also cracked down on a separate drug case in Phnom Penh on Wednesday afternoon, according to a National Police report published yesterday.
Two Vietnamese nationals were arrested in Derm Chan village, in Chbar Ampov district’s Chbar Ampov II commune, for allegedly producing and processing drugs, with about 10 kilograms of ingredients for producing drugs seized in the raid.