Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drug bust nets 1.5 tonnes, kills one in shootout

Drug bust nets 1.5 tonnes, kills one in shootout

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Nearly 1.5 tonnes of ketamine was seized and one Chinese national was killed while two others were arrested on Sunday. FACEBOOK

Drug bust nets 1.5 tonnes, kills one in shootout

A Chinese man was killed in a joint anti-drug operation in Preah Sihanouk province’s Kampong Seila district while two of his Chinese accomplices were later arrested resulting in the seizure of nearly 1.5 tonnes of ketamine.

Deputy National Police chief Mak Chito told The Post on December 13 that the bust took place on the night of December 12 in an operation carried out by joint forces from the capital and Kampong Speu, Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces.

Chito said that during the raid, one of the suspects fired his gun at the police, prompting them to return fire, killing him instantly. He identified the deceased suspect as Ly Tung Han, 32, and his accomplice who was driving their vehicle and was arrested at the scene as Ly Po Han, 47.

The arrest of the driver then led the police to a plot of land in Sangke Satoap commune of Kampong Speu province’s Oral district later that day where they caught the alleged ringleader identified as Ye Yean Sow, 50.

“Currently, suspects Ye Yean Sow and Ly Po Han are in custody along with the seizure of 1,480kg of ketamine and another 70 tonnes of suspected narcotics or related chemicals as well as a K54 pistol and two cars,” Chito said.

Some local media outlets reported that the drug production took place at the facilities of a mango-processing company called RICHFARMASIA Co Ltd, which they claim is located in Dambong Vinh village of Oral district’s Sangke Satoab commune.

However, local police officers who asked not to be named said the drug manufacturing site was not at the actual company itself, but located just behind it.

Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samang told The Post that the preliminary stages of the investigation indicate that the drug manufacturing activity is not in any way linked to RICHFARM ASIA Co Ltd, but the case is under investigation and no final report has been issued yet.

Chito said the anti-drug operation indicates that Cambodia is trying its best to combat and prevent drug crimes and is absolutely against any attempt to turn the country into a regional hub for the manufacture and export of illegal drugs to the international market.

“Cambodia is not a big drug-producing country because we have repeatedly cracked down on these different networks of international drug traffickers many times and we will continue to do so whenever they try to set up operations here,” Chito said.

Ketamine is a common drug of abuse worldwide that has been rising in popularity across Southeast Asia. It is technically classified as a disassociative anesthetic and its most common legal purpose is for veterinary surgeries on animals.


  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Hun Sen’s rare visit to Cuba: What’s going on?

    Back on August 17, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that he would deliver a speech at the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN headquarters in the US’ New York City, visit Cuba and attend the state funeral of the slain Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo