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Ex-cop tried over drug precursor shipments

Ex-cop tried over drug precursor shipments

A former police major faced the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday over charges of transporting some 30 tonnes of precursor chemicals for methamphetamine production between June and July last year.

Korng Sovannara, 46, was an anti-economic crimes police officer at the Interior Ministry, said presiding Judge Chaing Sinath, adding that the drugs were seized from a rented warehouse in Kampong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch district last July.

“He hired three container trucks to transport the precursor drugs . . . [from] ships at the Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk Autonomous Port in order to  produce drugs for sale in Cambodia and abroad. His activity has violated Cambodian laws,” she said.

Colonel San Sothy, chief of the anti-drug and money laundering police office, said he first received reports of suspicious activity from customs officials on June 28 last year.

“These precursors were imported by faking an invoice that said it was ‘soy oil shipping’,” said Sothy. “This shipment was addressed to Korng Sovannara as the owner of shipments.”

Sovannara denied the accusations and asked the court to drop charges, saying the true owner of the shipments was a Vietnamese man named “Nguyen Chin Pam” who paid him “$2,000 per container as a fee for managing and transporting it”.

The court will render a verdict at the end of this month.

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