Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mystery of the lost heroin



Mystery of the lost heroin

Mystery of the lost heroin

MORE than half the heroin seized by police in a February raid was allegedly missing

at a presentation of the evidence at the Phnom Penh municipal court this week - but

it was all a simple mistake, according to the Ministry of Interior.

Phnom Penh's municipal police drug chief Heng Po claimed eight kilograms of heroin

were seized in the raid near Tuol Tom Pong Market.

But Ministry of Interior officials presented just over 2.7kg to the court for weighing

and initial analysis on Tuesday.

The case raised speculation about untoward handling of narcotics evidence, and highlighted

tension between municipal and Ministry of Interior anti-drug police officers.

"Ten minutes before the drug raid on Feb 29, I was surprised to learn that elements

within the ministry's anti-drug department asked to cooperate in the raid, indicating

they had prior knowledge about it," Po told reporters after the court session.

"At the time we seized eight kilograms of heroin and one man involved in smuggling

the drug confessed to this amount.

"We arrested three culprits, one policeman and two others who were military,

but I believe these men were later released and apparently only six kilograms of

heroin was then sent on to the ministry," Po added.

Two men later arrested in the case are now in prison awaiting trial.

Interior Ministry Chief of Security Yeng Marady, who this week presented sealed packages

of heroin for inspection by the court, said the discrepency was because of an error

in weighing.

"At the time of the seizure the heroin was measured on the scales and the ministry

was informed the amount was six kilograms," Marady said later.

"The packages were kept completely sealed, untouched and the weighing scales

were also kept.

"Today I escorted the evidence to the court and when measured again it was six

pounds or 2.5 to 2.7 kilograms so it appears the error occurred when police confiscating

the drug measured it as six kilograms not six pounds."

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese