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Stung Treng pagoda chief arrested with kilo of meth

Stung Treng pagoda chief arrested with kilo of meth

A 34-year-old chief monk was defrocked and arrested on Friday after anti-drug police found 1 kilogram of ice methamphetamine at his Stung Treng province pagoda, police said.

Stung Treng commune police chief Chhoem Sothy said yesterday that May Som Eoun, chief monk at the Ketiyaram pagoda, was defrocked by the provincial monk and officials from Stung Treng’s provincial department of cults and religion.

Sothy said the monk and the evidence would be sent to Stung Treng Provincial Court today and that the monk would then be charged with possession and distribution of drugs. Som Eoun denied that the drugs belonged to him, said Meach Eang, director of the local religion department.

Eang said the suspect claimed that they “belonged to a Laotian couple who came and asked him to prepare a ritual ceremony for them . . . and they just forgot [the drugs] in his room”. But Sothy said that the authorities had been investigating the pagoda’s chief monk for the past three months.

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