Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nearly 150,000 meth pills discovered in Preah Vihear traffic stop

Nearly 150,000 meth pills discovered in Preah Vihear traffic stop

A man sits behind a table of drugs at a Preah Vihear police station on Saturday after he was arrested at a police checkpoint. Photo supplied
A man sits behind a table of drugs at a Preah Vihear police station on Saturday after he was arrested at a police checkpoint. Photo supplied

Nearly 150,000 meth pills discovered in Preah Vihear traffic stop

Large quantities of methamphetamine destined for Thailand were seized by police on Saturday during a routine traffic stop, one of two large busts over the weekend.

In Preah Vihear, police found an estimated 144,000 meth pills in the car of Kong Rich, 32, at a traffic checkpoint on Saturday night in Tbeng Meanchey district’s Mohaphal village, according to provincial deputy police chief Chhory Borin.

“Honestly, it was a fluke. We station three kinds of police at each checkpoint: explosives police, traffic police and anti-drug police,” Borin said. “We were suspicious because his eyes were red and he was behaving suspiciously. We called him out of the car for a urine test. It came up positive and he confessed that he had been using drugs. Then we checked his car, where we found piles of drugs.”

During further questioning, Rich confessed that this was the third time he had transported drugs from Stung Treng province to the Thai border, for which he claimed a Chinese national paid him 500,000 Thai Baht ($14,149) each time, according to deputy police chief Borin.

“The ringleader gave them to him and he transported them through the provinces until he reached Battambang, where he handed them over to a Thai national,” Borin said, adding that Rich claims to have acted alone. “We don’t have information about the Chinese and Thai ringleaders.”

An anti-drug police officer in Stung Treng said his team was aware of the existence of the Chinese trafficker but did not know his identity as he is based in Laos. He said that the large number of illegal crossings combined with the lackadaisical attitude of border guards makes it hard to stem the flow of drugs from Laos.

“It’s like they’re not willing or lack a conscience,” he said. “It makes things complicated.”

A UN Office on Drugs and Crime report issued earlier this year designated Cambodia a regional drug-trafficking hub, citing porous borders and limited resources for policing.

Meanwhile, local media reported that two Cambodians were arrested by Vietnamese officials the same day transporting a kilogram of unspecified narcotics across the border in Ratanakkiri.

The pair were identified as Chab Samean, allegedly a border police officer, and An Bunthy, a soldier with Border Regiment 102.

Vann Sangvath, Ratanakkiri deputy anti-drug chief, confirmed that two Cambodians had been arrested by Vietnamese authorities but was awaiting confirmation that they were border officials.

Colonel Ouk Sothy of Border Regiment 102 confirmed Bunthy was under his command, adding that he had a history of drug use.


  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four