Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay charged over 2007 drugs case

KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay charged over 2007 drugs case

KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay (second right) is driven away from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after being charged in relation to a decade-old drug case.
KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay (second right) is driven away from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after being charged in relation to a decade-old drug case. Pha Lina

KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay charged over 2007 drugs case

Political fixture and former Co-Defence Minister Nhek Bun Chhay was officially charged yesterday with conspiracy to produce drugs and importing drug components after being linked to a decade-old bust by one of the men convicted in the original case.

Bun Chhay – a former royalist and the head of the minor Khmer National United Party – was arrested at his home on Thursday and questioned through Saturday. Yesterday, a court document from the prosecutor’s office said Bun Chhay had been formally charged in a case dating back to April 1, 2007, in Kampong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch district.

In a raid at the time, police seized 2 tonnes of “precursor” chemicals, including a reported 400 to 500 kilograms of chloroephedrine, at a clandestine operation.

In all, 14 people, including Chinese and Thai nationals, were arrested. One of the suspects was Chea Chung, a former adviser to Bun Chhay during his term as co-defence minister in the 1990s, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his involvement.

The court document said that Chung was “looking for justice”, and on July 31 linked Bun Chhay to the case, which – along with other “evidence” – led to the KNUP leader’s arrest.

Bun Chhay’s fortunes had been waning after an alleged recording surfaced of him speaking to a Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president, a call Bun Chhay said was a case of dialling a wrong number.

MOST VIEWED

  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Scholarship winner tells secrets to success

    Chhim Chaknineath was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for one year of postgraduate study in the UK for the academic year 2022-2023 along with a group of 10 other outstanding students who applied. She spent more than a year researching and studying – as well as consulting with