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Sacked police chiefs face judge

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Moek Dara, former secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, in an undated file photograph.

A former provincial police chief who was sacked for his alleged involvement in a drug bribery scandal that lead to the arrest of the country’s highest anti-drug police official will appear in court today.

Former Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Brigadier General Hun Hean, his one-time deputy Chheang Sun and the province’s former criminal police chief, Hem Sophal, will face charges that they took bribes from drug dealers.

The men who allegedly paid them off, Morn Soeun and Kiet Dara, will also face court today on drug trafficking charges, Banteay Meanchey provincial court judge Im Vanak said yesterday.

“They will be tried over the bribes and drug trafficking tomorrow,” he said.

Aing Mea Vatey, president of Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court, said the former secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, Moek Dara and former chief of the Anti-Drug Office at Ministry of Interior Chea Leng, would be tried later this month .

“So far, the case of Moek Dara and Chea Leang has already investigated. They will be tried on November 17,” he said.

The two senior former anti-drug chiefs were arrested in January reportedly after being implicated by Hun Hean and Chheang Sun. Moek Dara faces a possible life sentence if found guilty of the corruption charges he faces.

Shortly afterwards, Om Yentieng, head of the government’s Anti-corruption Unit, accused Moek Dara of using his department as a network for selling drugs.

Ung Somith, Banteay Meanchey province co-ordinator for the rights group Licadho, said high-level police and military officials across the country were facilitating the drug trade.

“I appreciated the arrest of these people and their trials. I hope their arrest and trial will become a good measure in combating or cracking down on drug trafficking in this country,” he said.

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