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Two queried on jail drug deal

KRATIE provincial court yesterday questioned two people accused of attempting to smuggle crystal methamphetamine into the provincial prison, officials said.

Seang Nara, the deputy chief of the provincial anti-drug trafficking bureau, said 27-year-old motorbike-taxi driver Men Puthy was arrested on Monday in connection with the case, while Sea Sina, a 20-year-old beer garden server, was arrested the next day.

He accused Sea Sina of trying to smuggle two small packages of crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, to her boyfriend, 31-year-old Hak Seth, who is serving a prison sentence for a drug-trafficking conviction.

On July 29, Sea Sina gave the drugs to Men Puthy in a 1-kilogramme package of sugar, Seang Nara said. Men Puthy then took the package inside the prison, and the drugs were later discovered by prison officials, Seang Nara added.

“It is the first time for this type of case,” Seang Nara said. “Never before have we seen a relative bring drugs for someone serving time in the prison.”

Choung Seang Hak, the provincial police chief, said that Men Puthy had protested his innocence, but that the police had arrested him anyway because he had long been a drug trafficking suspect.

“Even though Men Puthy told us that he didn’t know there were drugs inside, and he is just a moto-taxi driver, we still accuse him of drug trafficking because he is our old suspect,” Choung Seang Hak said.

He said both suspects were members of a group that had threatened authorities when Hak Seth was arrested last month.

“They threatened our police officers, saying that when he is released from prison they will send us to Preah Puth pagoda,” he said. “So it means that they will kill our officers and bring us to be cremated at the pagoda.”

Suon Ravuth, the chief clerk at the provincial court, said the suspects faced between six months and two years in prison if charged and convicted.

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