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‘Meng not linked to Rock raid’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Officers stand guard outside the Rock club on Saturday morning after a drugs raid by Phnom Penh police.

‘Meng not linked to Rock raid’

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday said Kith Meng, chairman of the Royal Group and president of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, was not linked to the almost 50kg of drugs confiscated by authorities in a raid at the Rock Entertainment Centre last weekend.

Sar Kheng’s statement came after rumours circulated saying Meng, Kith Theang, his older brother and Royal Group CEO, and others were involved with the narcotics found at the nightclub on Saturday morning.

However, Sar Kheng posted on Facebook on Wednesday that authorities had found no evidence linking Meng to the haul.

“After the successful crackdown by the police force, in this case, there were rumours saying certain people were involved with the drugs crime."

“I would like to take this opportunity to inform the public that the thorough investigation carried out by authorities has not found any evidence proving that Kith Meng, president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, was involved."

“I would like to express my high appreciation for the efforts, in a highly responsible manner, of the Phnom Penh police at the Rock Entertainment Centre on February 23 in confiscating many kilograms of drugs and arresting three suspects,” Sar Kheng said.

Meanwhile, Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutors have been questioning 30 Cambodian and Chinese youths, while 302 people were released the following day after receiving education and signing a contract promising to avoid drugs.

Kith Meng declined to comment when contacted by The Post on Wednesday, while Theang could not be reached.

Mak Chito, deputy National Police chief and deputy secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, told The Post on Wednesday that police are investigating to find the ringleaders and people involved with bringing drugs into Rock Entertainment Centre, which was officially closed on February 23.

He confirmed that “police must try [and] we must make efforts to find [the ringleaders] and we must continue to work further”.

He also dismissed the rumour that Ministry of Interior anti-drug officers have questioned Theang.

Soeung Sen Karuna, the spokesperson for rights group Adhoc, said authorities must show evidence to prove that Meng was not involved with the drugs because people have said the venue belongs to him.

“We welcome all crackdowns on drug trafficking in Cambodia. We would like the government to increase the prevention [of drug trafficking and use] and raiding of clubs and other suspicious locations,” he said.

On Saturday at 1.40am, Phnom Penh police raided the Rock Entertainment Centre – located on Preah Monivong Boulevard in Chamkarmon district – arresting more than 300 suspects and confiscating nearly 50kg of drugs, 12 drug scales and a pistol.

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