The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday charged three police officers and another man and sent them to pre-trial detention for drugging four girls at a KTV bar on Sunday, resulting in one death and three cases of severe poisoning.

The three officers were stationed at Loeuk Dek district’s Ka’am Samnor commune border checkpoint.

The three male officers are Chantra Vannak, 34, Tim Vathanak, 39, and Keo Vathanak Poun, 27. The fourth man charged was identified as Van Chivoan, 29, a labourer. A fifth man who managed to flee the scene was identified as Vanna, 29, a taxi driver.

‘Under supervision’

The detention warrant issued on Thursday by investigating judge Pich Maren said: “This person shall be placed under supervision on a charge of illegal use of drugs – committed in room 7777 of Mey Mey BBQ and KTV, in Ka’am Samnor Krom village, Ka’am Samnor commune, Loeuk Dek district, Kandal province on June 16, 2019, in violation of Article 45, paragraph 2 of the Law on Drug Control.”

Kandal provincial police chief Eav Chamroeun told The Post that the four were sent to prison at 5pm on Thursday and that they had tested positive for ecstasy.

He said the condition of the three girls who were hospitalised due to severe poisoning has improved. But he declined to provide further information due to the ongoing nature of the case.

The dead woman was 19 years old, while the other victims were aged 26, 21 and 18. All were employed at the karaoke parlour.

Collecting evidence

Loeuk Dek district police chief Am Thou told The Post on Monday that it and Military Police, led by provincial prosecutor Leav Sreng, inspected the karaoke parlour to collect evidence.

Found at the scene was a small package of white powder, a bottle of water with a small amount of yellow liquid, an empty package of Tiger Balm pain relieving patches and a pack of Wrigley’s Doublemint spearmint-flavoured gum.