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Drug charges await general, ‘accomplices’

Drug charges await general, ‘accomplices’

Police had picked up two more alleged accomplices of the two-star Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) general arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking on Friday, and had sent the trio, along with the general’s bodyguard, to court to be officially charged, police said yesterday.

Major General Khieu Saman, general secretary of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), confirmed that a Lao-Cambodian couple, Deap Sunlay and his wife, Nham Sokha, were arrested Sunday for their alleged involvement with accused drug trafficker Major General Chan Rithydy, deputy chief of staff of the army’s infantry division, and his unnamed personal bodyguard.

Police made the latest arrests based on information from Rithydy, who was arrested along with his bodyguard in a raid on his mansion in O’Andong 1 village in Phnom Penh on August 24.

“Deap Sunlay has confessed that he has been bringing drugs from Laos into Cambodia for a long time now,” said Saman, adding that police seized nearly a kilogram of ecstasy in the arrest.

“He had also confessed that he had been selling the drugs to General Chan Rithydy.”

Saman also added that Deap Sunlay was an apparent middleman between Rithydy and Laotian producers, saying that Sunlay bought methamphetamine from a contact in Laos at a price of US$32,000 per kilogram.

He then sold the drugs at US$35,000 per kilogram to Rithydy, who would sell it, in turn, for $42,000 per kilogram.

According to Saman, police are continuing to search for other suspects, and had discovered further contraband at another house owned by Rithydy in Phnom Penh.

“After checking Chan Rithydy’s villa in Prek Pra commune, our police continued to check his house in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang II commune,” said Saman.

“And as result, we found and seized many tonnes of luxury woods, which were hidden in his house.”

Keu Ponnara, deputy prosecutor at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said the court would be done questioning the suspects today, and a charge was expected later in the week.

The suspects and their defence lawyers could not be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

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