Pursat provincial authorities are searching for suspects who ran a marijuana growing operation on 2ha in Veal Veng district’s Anlong Reap commune.
In an investigation on Saturday which led them through kilometres of thick forest, authorities discovered and burnt 5,530 marijuana plants.
Veal Veng district police chief Theang Leng said officers also found 30kg of dried marijuana at the location.
Evidence seized included marijuana plants, dried marijuana, three tents and other materials used for growing the narcotic. Officials burnt them at the scene because transportation was limited to the area. No roads lead to the forest, said Leng.
He said it wouldn’t take police long to track down the suspects.
Anlong Reap commune police chief Sok Nat said there are a lot of mountains in the area, which is 30km from National Road 55. When authorities came close to arriving at the scene, dogs barked at them, which could have alerted the suspects and helped them escape.
He said officials had to walk 30km through the forest to reach the site. It was a good location for offenders to grow marijuana plants because it is hidden in a big forest. The suspects used waterfalls to water their plants.
“We have identified the suspects. According to villagers, there are four offenders. Three of them come from Kiri Vong district in Takeo while one is a villager there. They have all fled, but we are continuing to investigate,” Nat said.
He said authorities were first alerted to the marijuana plants by villagers who had been harvesting ivy in the forest and noticed them.