Cambodian Border Official Nabbed With Meth in Thailand

A Cambodian border official was arrested in Thailand on Sunday after being caught at a market with a cache of methamphetamine pills inside his motorbike seat, police said on Monday.

Chea Oupak Tevrith, 55, a first lieutenant and a deputy chief at the O’Anluok border police checkpoint in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district, was nabbed at a Thai market only 200 meters from his border post, deputy district police chief Seth Kol said.

“Thai police cooperated with the [Thai] royal armed forces to arrest him inside the Suon Sum market,” Mr. Kol said. “Based on the report from Thai authorities, they found 149 methamphetamine tablets hidden inside his motorbike seat.”

The border official had admitted that the drugs belonged to him and he was to be sent to the Chanthaburi provincial court today, Mr. Kol said.

Phy Phors, chief of the O’Anluok border police checkpoint, said that Thai authorities had been investigating Mr. Oupak Tevrith—a former Khmer Rouge soldier who had served at the checkpoint after defecting to the government about two decades ago—after a Thai man pointed the finger at him upon being caught with drugs.

“A Thai suspect told Thai authorities that he bought the drugs from him,” Mr. Phors said, adding that his deputy had been making frequent trips across the border.

Koy Heang, a deputy provincial police chief, confirmed the arrest and said he had ordered an investigation into whether other officials were involved.

“We want to cooperate with Thai authorities on whether there are any police officials who are involved with him or if there was a ringleader,” Mr. Heang said.

“If we find any other people who are involved with this case we will not forgive,” he said.

Mr. Phors said there was no evidence of other border officials being involved.

“The one who commits the mistake must be responsible for himself,” the border police chief said. “I was not involved with him in this case.”

In a separate case, a 53-year-old Thai national was arrested in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district on Monday in connection with 16 kg of methamphetamine pills that were found in a Cambodian man’s car in Preah Vihear province earlier this month.

According to a statement posted to the National Police website, Chapi Chitchai was arrested while en route to visit his Cambodian wife. He was handed over to police in Preah Vihear for further questioning.

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