Mondulkiri provincial police on April 4 found and destroyed nearly 7,000 marijuana plants in O’Raing district’s Sen Monorom commune.
District police chief Van Danin said officers were questioning four suspects to identify other people involved in the case.
“We are searching for the ringleader ... We are collecting information from Bunong indigenous landowners where the plants were grown,” he said without elaborating.
According to a report from provincial anti-drug police, the marijuana plants were grown at two locations in the commune – the first is 15m by 120m and the second is 10m by 15m. Police also seized two pumps, three hoes and other related evidence.
Sum Sophorn, deputy provincial police chief in charge of the anti-drug unit, said on April 5 that police inspected the two locations after receiving a tip-off.
“Villagers reported to police that they saw plants they had never seen before, so the police chief ordered us to inspect the locations, where we discovered marijuana. He [provincial police chief] ordered us to destroy the plants on site,” he said.
Sophorn said police saw no one at the sites, but the next day they brought in four people for questioning.
He said the four were landowners, but the person who grew the marijuana was from Takeo province.
The landowners, Sophorn said, claimed the man had lied to them about the marijuana and convinced them to grow the plants among their vegetables, saying they were profitable.