Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rock drug ring officer apprehended

Rock drug ring officer apprehended

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Police stand in front of the Rock Entertainment Centre on February 24. POST STAFF

Rock drug ring officer apprehended

The police officer hunted in the Rock Entertainment Centre drugs ring investigation – a senior official with the capital’s anti-drugs unit – has been caught, deputy chief of the National Police Mok Chito announced on Tuesday.

A further three suspects have also been arrested, said Chito, who is also the deputy secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs.

Chito identified the police officer as a section head with the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Anti-Drugs Intervention Unit.

He said the officer, who was in charge of security at the club, was the only police official currently suspected of involvement in the drugs ring.

Police raided the Rock nightclub on February 23, seizing some 50kg of drugs held on the premises.

The owner, prominent businessman Kith Theang, and 17 others have been charged by Penh Municipal Court and sent to the capital’s Police Judiciare prison.

“Those arrested so far are all suspected drug dealers of Cambodian nationals. The investigation remains ongoing. The large amount of drugs found – 50kg – means more than one person is implicated,” Chito said.

Satisfying civil society

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Y Rin said he did not know whether the suspects had yet been sent to court.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Ly Sophana could not be reached for comment by The Post on Tuesday.

Soeung Sen Karuna, the spokesman for rights group Adhoc, said the arrests in the Rock case had satisfied civil society organisations and the public because authorities had also brought the rich and powerful before the law.

“In addition to the Rock case, the public and I look forward to seeing the authorities clamp down on other locations involved with drugs that ruin the future of young people in Cambodia,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng have both spoken in public this month on the need for authorities to clamp down on large-scale drugs rings, ordering investigations and the taking of firm legal actions.

Article 44 of the Law on the Control of Drugs states that “facilitating the illegal use of addictive substances, the act of renting out or providing a place or other acts that facilitate the use of illegal additive substances listed must be punished by one to five years in prison, with an additional fine of between two million and 10 million riel [$500-2,500]”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10