Three men suspected of being Military Police officials were being questioned on Wednesday for allegedly dealing drugs.
They were arrested the previous night at an unspecified base in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district.
Deputy chief of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) Mok Chito said that the arrests came after a thorough investigation which is still ongoing in a bid to find the ringleader.
“Whether Military Police officials were involved is not yet clear as the investigation is still ongoing. We are continuing to work with a prosecutor to find the ringleader in the case,” he said.
Mok Chito said he could only elaborate further when the investigation was complete.
Fresh News reported that the suspects were arrested at the base in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district. One was allegedly a deputy director of a National Military Police finance office, while the others were yet to be identified, the online news site said.
From which unit?
NACD general-secretary Meas Vyrith told The Post on Wednesday that he had been informed of the arrests. He said the three men were Military Police officials, but it was not yet clear which unit they came from.
Evidence of drug dealing was seized on the spot, he said.
“They are Military Police officials, but it is not clear which unit they are from. Investigations are underway and they are provisionally being held at the Phnom Penh Anti-Drugs Department for further questioning to find accomplices."
“As per procedure, we will send them to court within 72 hours,” Vyrith said.
National Military Police commander Sao Sokha told The Post on Wednesday that he supported measures to crack down on those committing drugs offences.
He said he encouraged the toughest punishments for those breaking the law regardless of their position.
“It doesn’t matter if they are office directors or how many stripes they have – if offences have been committed, the law must be implemented. I hate drugs, both users and dealers. I have instructed officials [to be clean] countless times. If evidence of wrongdoing is found then they will be jailed,” he said.
President of the People Centre for Development and Peace Yong Kim Eng said authorities should crack down hard on officials involved in drugs to avoid public dissatisfaction.
“Law enforcement officials involved in drugs offences must be punished severely and without exception, because it is crucial that officials are not seen to be colluding with those involved in illegal activities,” he said.