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Luxurious club owner arrested for drug trafficking

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Police arrest some 400 people, including around 130 foreigners, at the Luxurious nightclub in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Luxurious club owner arrested for drug trafficking

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a warrant on Monday to detain the owner of the Luxurious nightclub after municipal authorities located and arrested the suspect in Battambang province on Sunday.

The warrant issued by Investigating Judge Koy Sao identified the suspect as Huon Tuoch, 40, whose current address is in Romduol district’s Kampong Ampil commune in Svay Rieng province.

However, the warrant said, the authorities found and arrested the suspect on Sunday in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district.

The suspect was charged with transporting or trafficking narcotic substances and administration of the illicit use or consumption of narcotic substances under articles 42 and 44 of the Law on Drug Control.

After completing additional questioning on Monday afternoon, Investigating Judge Sao issued a warrant “ordering the public authorities’ agents to send the suspect, Huon Tuoch, to PJ [Police Judiciare] prison by duly implementing it in accordance with the law”.

Sar Thet, the deputy National Police chief and chief of Phnom Penh municipal police, told The Post on Monday that after receiving the warrant, authorities went to arrest the owner of the nightclub on Sunday.

“We went to search for and arrest the owner of the Luxurious nightclub as per the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s arrest warrant,” he said.

On the night of June 8, Phnom Penh municipal police raided the Luxurious nightclub in Daun Penh district’s Boeung Raing commune, seizing 162.7g of drugs and detaining 408 people.

Following further investigation, police sent 17 suspects aged between 23 and 41 years to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Five of those charged were Vietnamese nationals.

In a separate case, Phnom Penh minor crime police on Sunday arrested a police officer and sent him to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in connection with the February 23 raid on the capital’s Rock Entertainment Centre.

“Regarding the arrest of the Rock suspect, we have sent the person to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. We searched for and arrested the suspect near the border,” Phnom Penh police chief Thet said.

He said the arrest was made according to a warrant issued by a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating judge.

Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony for Battambang provincial councillors on Monday, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng responded to criticism that the government only arrested small-scale drug traffickers.

“We are trying to crack down. We ask people to join in and support our efforts, not just criticise. Some people say we only arrest small [drug traffickers], not the big ringleaders.

“I want to make a list for you. Many big ringleaders have been arrested and imprisoned,” said Sar Kheng, who is also Deputy Prime Minister.

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