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Breaking: KNUP President Nhek Bun Chhay arrested in Phnom Penh

KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay, photographed in Phnom Penh last month.
KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay, photographed in Phnom Penh last month. Heng Chivoan

Breaking: KNUP President Nhek Bun Chhay arrested in Phnom Penh

Khmer National United Party president and former RCAF commander Nhek Bun Chhay was arrested this afternoon in Phnom Penh in relation to a drug production case dating back to 2012 in Kampong Speu province, a Ministry of Interior spokesman confirmed.

The spokesman, Khieu Sopheak, said Bun Chhay had been arrested in relation to the case and was currently at the National Police headquarters in Phnom Penh. “Yes he has been arrested today in the Kampong Speu drug production case from 2012,” he said.

Bun Chhay had run afoul of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party following the June 4 commune elections, before which he allegedly had a phone call with CNRP Deputy President Eng Chhay Eang promising votes from his supporters in communes the KNUP did not contest.

Despite denying he had intended to speak to Chhay Eang or colluded to offer votes, the ex-royalist was stripped of his title as adviser to the government in June, with more than a dozen other party members meeting the same fate in the following weeks. The sacking came on the same day as what appeared to be a surrender of firearms from Bun Chhay to the Ministry of Defence.

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