THE son and daughter of a Preah Sihanouk province police officer charged with drug trafficking were charged with the same offence on Wednesday, as was a soldier based in the province, officials said.
The charges came after two days of interrogation, provincial police chief Tak Vantha said.
The police officer, 44-year-old Lim Samay, was arrested at a hotel in Sihanoukville on Monday on suspicion of drug trafficking, and a search of his home yielded 9.2 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 99 yama tablets.
Lim Samay’s son, Lim Makara; his daughter, whom officials could not name, and a soldier based in the province, whom officials also could not name, were arrested and sent to court Tuesday.
Tak Vantha said Wednesday that all three had been charged with drug trafficking in connection with a ring he said had been operating “for months”.
“The provincial court has ordered Lim Samay’s son, Lim Makara, and an unnamed soldier to serve pretrial detention behind bars pending further investigation on charges of drug trafficking,” he said, and added that the daughter was released on bail after a guarantee from her lawyer that she would not flee.
The case marks the latest in a recent string of drug offences allegedly involving police.
In October, Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged Touch Muysor, the former head of the capital’s Anti-Drug Trafficking Bureau, with possession of drugs and bribery. He was arrested after a raid on his office that uncovered 8,000 methamphetamine pills with an estimated street value of around US$100,000. He remains in pretrial detention.
Earlier this month, military police announced they were investigating a police official at the Interior Ministry thought to be the head of a Phnom Penh-based drug trafficking ring, after a raid that netted around 400 grams of methamphetamine. Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Tuesday that no arrests have yet been made in connection with the case.
He added that he did not believe the recent arrests were an indication that drug dealing was rife within the police force.
“We have seen only one or two police officials arrested in connection with drug trafficking and they should not put blame on the good reputations of police who ensure the security of society,” he said.