The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday charged 17 suspects with various drug offences following their arrest earlier this month at the Luxurious nightclub in the capital. Meanwhile, police have still not revealed the identity of the club’s owner.
On the night of June 8, Phnom Penh municipal police raided the Luxurious nightclub in Daun Penh district’s Boeung Raing commune, confiscating 162.7g of drugs and detaining 408 people.
After further investigation, police sent 17 suspects aged between 23 and 41 years to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Five of those charged were Vietnamese nationals.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophana told The Post on Thursday that the court prosecutor had decided to charge them after questioning the 17 suspects.
“The prosecutor charged the suspects with keeping, transporting or trafficking narcotic substances under Article 40 of the Law on Drug Control, administration of the illicit use or consumption of narcotic substances under Article 42, and facilitating the illicit use of narcotic substances under Article 44."
“They were further charged with being accomplices to a felony or a misdemeanour under Article of 29 of the Criminal Code. The suspects and the case reports were sent to the investigating judge to follow due legal process,” he said.
The authorities have so far not revealed the identity of or managed to arrest the owner of the nightclub.
Soeung Sen Karuna, the spokesman for human rights group Adhoc, told The Post that he had repeatedly urged the police to find and detain the club’s owner.
Phnom Penh municipal police chief Sar Thet could not be reached for comment on Thursday regarding what legal procedures are planned or the investigation to find and detain the club’s owner.
He had told The Post on Monday: “As to when the owners of the club will be arrested, it’s just a matter of time. Sooner or later we will find them.”
Luxurious is the third major nightclub to be raided in Phnom Penh this year.
In the early hours of February 23, police raided the Rock Entertainment Centre where more than 300 people were detained and more than 50kg of illegal drugs were confiscated.
Following the bust, the club’s owner, tycoon Kith Theang, was detained at the capital’s Police Judiciare prison.
Miami Night Club was raided on April 11 and more than 50 people detained. Police seized more than 10kg of drugs, while the owner of the club, Sren Vireak, and other six employees were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for drug crimes.