Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Half-baked hog farm busted

Half-baked hog farm busted

Police in Kampong Cham’s Santhor district burn marijuana plants discovered on adjacent farming plots on Monday
Police in Kampong Cham’s Santhor district burn marijuana plants discovered on adjacent farming plots on Monday. The farmers involved escaped prosecution, claiming it was strictly for pig feed. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Half-baked hog farm busted

Two farmers avoided criminal charges after convincing police that 240 large cannabis plants discovered on their adjoining eggplant farms in Kampong Cham province were being grown only to help keep their pigs plump, free of disease and to make their soups taste better.

After discovering the crops on the properties of neighbours Ly Dieng, 75, and Seng Boeun, 50, on Monday, police burned all 240 plants, Santhor district police chief Kheng Sreng said.

“[Police] pulled the plants from the ground and destroyed them at the scene,” he said.

Despite the size of the haul and the penalties that the cultivation of such drugs carry, the two farmers were not charged with any crime.

This was because they “did not understand the law” and were primarily mixing the cannabis with pig feed rather than selling it, deputy district governor Sim Kong told the Post.

“However, the authorities have educated them and asked them to thumbprint a document saying they will stop growing cannabis from this point on,” Kong said, adding that the pair would be arrested and sent to court if they broke their agreement.

Boeun, who grew about 200 of the plants in question, said he had never sold drugs and had grown cannabis only with the physical condition of his pigs in mind.

“I mix it with pig food to make them fat quickly and prevent diseases,” he said.

Similarly, Dieng said she had not cultivated the cannabis for any commercial gain.

Dieng admitted, however, that she and her family – rather than the farm’s pigs – used the cannabis, but only by occasionally adding it to a soup to give it some extra flavour.

“From now on, I vow not to grow it, and I will tell my children to stop growing it, because it is banned under the law,” she said. “The authorities told me that grass is an addictive thing that affects our health when we use it more and more.”

Police officials did not estimate the street value of the plants seized from the two properties, but said they suspect other farmers in the area have similar crops.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to