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

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune