Preah Sihanouk provincial gendarmerie sent 35 suspects to court on March 22 after arresting them with 68 small packages of drugs. They are suspected to have trafficked, processed and used the illegal drugs in Phnom Sruoch district’s Treng Trayoeng commune in neighbouring Kampong Speu province.
Long Kim Hour, director of the Preah Sihanouk gendarmerie’s anti-drug bureau, said the 35 suspects, including a woman, were aged 17 to 62.
He confirmed that the raid actually took place in Kampong Speu, with his officers cooperating with their Kampong Speu counterparts to expand the scope of the operation – as some of the offenders were known to Preah Sihanouk authorities.
Kim Hour said his forces had previously arrested some of the suspects.
On March 17, his force asked Kampong Speu gendarmerie commander Heng Bunty to seek legal coordination from the provincial court prosecutor to conduct the operation.
He added that officers could not discern which of the suspects were guilty of trafficking and which were merely users. Many of them were consumers of the drugs and also dealing small quantities to their associates.
The officers confiscated 68 packs of methamphetamine, 10 as yet unidentified red pills, 10 motorcycles and 13 mobile phones. The haul also included a K59 handgun with six rounds of ammunition, a sword and several knives.
“We busted them at that location a few years ago, but that did not seem to deter them. On occasion, they had even tried to sells drugs to officers in uniform. We warned them two or three times, but they didn’t heed our warning,” he said.