Eleven-Year-Old Arrested for Dealing Crystal Meth

An 11-year-old homeless boy suspected of dealing drugs was arrested on Saturday after Phnom Penh police found 64 plastic bags of crystal methamphetamine tucked neatly into a small handbag he was carrying, police said.

The boy, whose parents live in Takeo province, was apprehended along train tracks in Tuol Kok district’s Boeng Kak II commune at about 11 a.m., deputy district police chief Sok Heng said.

The crystal meth was found along with 4,000 riel, or about $1, he said.

Mr. Heng declined to provide details about the investigation because the arrest had been secured through confidential “police skill,” but confirmed that the boy had been under surveillance.

“In general, we can’t just arrest people unless we’ve conducted an investigation,” he said.

After being questioned, the boy was transferred to the municipal department of social affairs, which will arrange his rehabilitation, Mr. Heng said.

Under the law, as a minor, he faces no criminal penalties.

Sorn Sophal, the department director, said on Sunday that he was unaware of the case.

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