PURSAT provincial court yesterday charged a 26-year-old man with transporting raw materials used in the production of drugs, after he was caught in possession of nearly 1,000 kilograms of safrole-rich oil, a natural substance used in the manufacture of MDMA.
The man was arrested on Sunday as he was driving through Phnom Kravanh district along National Road 56A with 977.3 kilogrammes of the oil stashed in his truck.
“Today we just questioned and charged him and sent him to prison,” Pursat court prosecutor Tup Chansereyvuth said yesterday. He added that a document filed to the court by forestry officials also accused the man of destroying forest while producing the oil, which is distilled from the roots of trees belonging to the sassafras family, but that the court determined he was not involved in its production.
Tup Chansereyvuth added that tests conducted on the oil showed it to be 95 percent pure.
Sin Phalla, the provincial forestry official who filed the case to the court, said the accused faced between five and 10 years imprisonment if found guilty on the transportation charge. The oil is currently being held at the provincial forestry cantonment and will soon be destroyed in line with government directives, Sin Phalla added.