Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Former top drugs cop on trial

Former top drugs cop on trial

Former top drugs cop on trial

touch-muy-ter
Touch Mey Ter (right), former chief of the Phnom Penh municipal anti-drug office, leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, the first day of his trial.

The former chief of Phnom Penh’s municipal anti-drug police denied charges of accepting bribes and stockpiling large quantities of drugs yesterday, during the first day of his trial in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Touch Muy Ter, 43, was arrested and charged in October, 2009 with bribery and possession of illegal drugs, after a complaint was filed by the National Authority for Combating Drugs. 

Lam Sokha, a 53-year-old businesswoman, was accused of offering a bribe to police after her arrest in Phnom Penh in 2005, presiding judge Suos Sam Ath said.

She was re-arrested in February following the allegations. 

“Touch Muy Ter arrested four drug traffickers and confiscated a total of four packages of drugs equalling 8,000 tablets of yama during a drug trafficking crackdown in 2005. But he released [the suspects] without sending them to the court for prosecution. He had received bribes from them,” Suos Sam Ath said in court yesterday. 

“He kept the drugs and other confiscated materials at his office without informing or reporting it to his superiors since 2005 until 2009  … when he was arrested.” The former police official is also accused of releasing numerous other drug trafficking suspects in exchange for cash bribes up until his arrest in 2009, but denied all charges against him yesterday.

“I did not receive any bribes from the four suspected people . . . I decided to release them because there were interventions from my superiors – Phnom Penh Municipal Police deputy chief Reach Sokhon, the General Commissariat of National Police and the Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor,” he said.

“I respected their orders and I released them. I did not do it by myself.”  

He claims that his dedication to his job had threatened other police officials – who then accused him of the crime. 

“The reason why I continued to keep the drugs at my own office was because I had done so on the command of the deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police,” he added. 

Lam Sokha denied she had been involved with drug trafficking in 2005 but said she had paid money to secure her release. 

“When I was arrested by the anti-drug police in 2005, I was asked for $20,000 for my release. I had to sell a car and other property to pay for them. I did not know that my payment was a bribe, but I had no choice. I had to pay them for my release,” she told the court yesterday, adding that she should be released. 

Reach Sokhon, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, and related police officials could not be reached for comments yesterday. 

Suos Sam Ath said the trial would continue on June 24.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading