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

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber