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

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • Locally-trained commercial pilots to lift Cambodia’s aviation standard

    The Kingdom is boosting its civil aviation sector with the establishment of a flight school with a local airline to meet growth demands once air travel recovers At 22, First Officer Reachta Lim is the youngest commercial pilot in Cambodia. He flies with the national flag