Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drug bust suspect nabbed at border

Drug bust suspect nabbed at border

Drug bust suspect nabbed at border

A Vietnamese-Canadian dual citizen, thought to be one of the leaders of a drug ring busted with 3,000 litres of safrole oil by police last week, was sent to Phnom Penh municipal court yesterday, authorities said.

Pen Rath, deputy municipal police chief, said yesterday that police intercepted Vu Ngoc Tuon, 52, on his way to Vietnam, arresting him on the evening of May 6 at the Bavet international checkpoint on the Cambodia-Vietnam border in Svay Rieng province.

“We were able to arrest the suspect in Bavet because we had already given his identity to all police,” he said.

Safrole oil is used in the production of the drug ecstacy.

The suspect denied allegations of producing and keeping drug substances, Pen Rath said, adding the police had strategic questions they would ask him.

The ring’s other leaders, allegedly a Vietnamese couple, are thought to have already escaped to a neighboring country.

Authorities released three of the 11 original suspects after finding no evidence of their involvement in the drug manufacturing and trafficking organisation.

The remaining eight have been charged, and are being detained in the police station in Por Senchey district for further questioning.

“The court has to question many relevant people before deciding to transfer them to prison [to await trial], so it decided to detain them in Por Senchey district,” Pen Rath said.

Bun Samath, police chief of Por Senchey district, said the three former suspects were released on the orders of the Phnom Penh municipal prosecutor, but would not say when.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • ‘Historic’ Khmer Rouge tribunal Case 002/2 verdict to be delivered

    The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are to deliver the verdict on Friday, in the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, in a pronouncement hailed as a “historic event for Cambodia and the world”. The verdict from

  • Record set for world’s longest dragon boat

    Cambodia broke the world record for the longest dragon boat – a title previously held by China, Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel said on Monday. He verified the record on the east bank of the Mekong river, in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district. “With

  • Analyst: Government appointments ‘a waste of national budget’

    The government has appointed over 200 officials as undersecretaries of state, secretaries of state, assistants and advisers at various institutions since October 1. While senior officials said the appointments were aimed at ensuring higher efficiency at the national level, social analysts said the practice is merely power-sharing