A former Banteay Meanchey provincial police officer was charged Monday with possession of counterfeit Thai cash and amphetamines after the items were allegedly discovered inside his office, authorities said.
Lim Mab, the former bureau chief of Banteay Meanchey provincial anti-drug office, was arrested Sunday after police discovered $336 worth of allegedly counterfeit Thai currency and 100 amphetamine pills at his office, said provincial police chief Hun Hean. He was removed from his position as a police officer the same day.
The items were originally evidence from criminal investigations but were allegedly kept by Mr Mab illegally, he said.
“He did this contrary to the legal procedures as he was not sending them to the court,” Mr Hean said, adding that he did not know why Mr Mab had kept the items at his office. Standard procedure requires items to be turned over when suspects appear in court, he said.
Provincial prosecutor So Vath said, “We charged him with two charges: keeping fake money and possessing some drugs.”
“The investigating judge had already imprisoned him for a further investigation,” he said.
Under the Untac code, the use of counterfeit banknotes carries a maximum penalty of 15 years. Possession of 100 to 300 grams of amphetamine is currently punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Mr Vath said that Mr Mab, who had been in his position as anti-drug chief for a year, defended the possession of the items and said he had no illegal intentions.
“He said he kept that fake money as a tool to trap drug-traffickers and the 100 drug pills of amphetamine remained since the previous police chief,” he said.
Mr Vath declined to comment on whether other people are involved since the case is under investigation.
Moek Dara, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department, said yesterday he was not familiar with the case and referred questions to the provincial police.