Police from the Ministry of Interior’s anti-drug department are investigating a serious case of smuggling after customs officers seized a car with a fake number plate, along with its driver, and discovered more than 20kg of drugs in Prey Veng province.
The General Department of Customs and Excise said on March 18 that the officers led by its deputy head Keurt Sotheara stopped the car on March 18 in Loek village of Preah Sdech district’s Romchek commune.
Once it was stopped, the customs officers searched and found 15,742g of MDMA; 4,996g of ketamine; and 14.4g of methamphetamine. The inspection was made possible in coordination with Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Chhay Hong.
Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), said on March 20 that the police were investigating the case, but had yet to reveal the identity of the driver.
“A specialised team is opening an investigation to determine who owns the drugs,” he said.
Vyrith said drugs are circulating in almost every country while their production is on the rise. In Cambodia, he said offenders had seized their chance to smuggle drugs as the country had been in Covid-19 battle. Most of the drugs had been smuggled from the ‘golden triangle’ zone of Lao and into Thailand and then Cambodia. In another case, the offenders had smuggled drugs directly from Lao into the Kingdom.
He said the drug cartels had a lot of networks, so they are everywhere. He cited an instance in late 2021 and early 2022, when anti-drug department police forces uncovered a large drug production facility in Kampong Speu province.
In Song, deputy director of the interior ministry’s anti-drug department, confirmed that in the last case in Prey Veng province his officers cooperated with customs police to arrest the suspect, with specialised units now carrying out an investigation to break up the gang involved.
“In this case, the customs police detained a man who was driving the car, along with the drugs. I have not received all the information yet and my office is still investigating,” he said.