Chamkar Mon Bubble Tea Shops To Face Gov’t Inspection

Phnom Penh authorities are to inspect eight Chamkar Mon district bubble tea shops this week for truant students and drugs, police said Sunday.

The move comes after news last week that municipal governor Kep Chuktema had ordered all district governors to take measures against the shops, which he said encouraged truancy.

District police chief Ouch Sokhon said Sunday that this week’s inspections would expose shop op­erators to possible penalties.

“If we find them involved with drug use or students skipping class to hide, those bubble tea shops will close and their cases will be sent to court,” Mr Sokhon said.

According to a City Hall report, Mr Chuktema said at a May 4 month­­­­­­ly meeting he was ordering all eight Phnom Penh districts to take measures against so-called bubble tea shops, which offer sweetened drinks and have partitions that can encourage intimacy among customers.

In the report, Mr Chuktema also said that he was calling for the removal of Chamkar Mon district governor Lo Yuy, accused of accepting bribes from two illegal nightclubs in drug investigations. Mr Yuy could not be reached Sunday.

Accompanied by a prosecutor and officials from Tuol Svay Prey I commune, police on Saturday also staged an early morning inspection of the Youngor Disco on Street 199, searching over 180 customers present for illegal drugs.

At Saturday’s inspection in Tuol Svay Prey I, police cooperated with deputy municipal prosecutor Phlang Sophal and commune officials to check for drugs from 12:30 am until 3 am, searching the 182 customers present, according to Mr Sokhon.

“We did not find one pill of drugs after we checked everyone’s table, be­longings and body, but we did re-educate them inside the disco club and let them go back home,” Mr Sokhon said. The youths were told not to go out late at night and to listen to their parents as part of the warnings given to them, he said.

    (Additional reporting by Alice Foster)

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