Prime Minister Hun Manet and Minister of Interior Sar Sokha commended law enforcement at all levels for their efforts leading to the apprehension of an armed gang responsible for freeing a Chinese drug kingpin – and the subsequent recapture of the convict.

The armed gang stormed a dental clinic in Siem Reap town on August 17 to free the man – who has been sentenced to two consecutive terms of 26 years for drug trafficking, the second following a failed attempt to conduct smuggling from within prison – while he was receiving treatment. The assailants, dressed in black suits and masks, handcuffed the four prison guards who were escorting the prisoner, then made their escape in a getaway vehicle.

The authorities’ joint efforts led to the arrest of both the criminal gang and the fugitive drug convict on August 23, bringing the total thus far to 11.

“The success of this important operation underscores their commitment to upholding security and public order,” said Manet in an August 24 social media post, while highlighting the government’s unwavering dedication to citizen safety and wellbeing.

Sokha echoed the sentiments in his August 23 social media post.

“The mission’s triumph is a result of the dedication and seamless collaboration among authorities and competent forces at all levels,” he said, while urging ongoing efforts to apprehend any remaining criminals and ensure a peaceful society in line with the law.

Sokha also oversees internal affairs, decentralisation reforms, anti-drug campaigns, human trafficking prevention, anti-gambling initiatives, and the policy for safe communities as well as undertaking special tasks as assigned by the prime minister.