Ex-Takhmao Police Chief Confesses to Dealing Meth

The former chief of police in Kandal province’s Takhmao City on Wednesday confessed that he had become a drug dealer after he was arrested on Tuesday in possession of 13 small packages of crystal methamphetamine, officials said.

Mom Vat, 64, who was also police chief of the province’s Koh Thom and Ponhea Leu districts before retiring 10 years ago, had been under surveillance for a long time, said Pal Sokong, chief of the provincial military police’s anti-drug unit.

“But we followed him yesterday and found the drugs,” he said.

Mr. Sokong said Mr. Vat was arrested on the street, and that 13 sachets of crystal meth were found in the breast pocket of his T-shirt. Each, he said, was wrapped in a 100 riel note and was worth about $10 to $15, totaling 1.28 grams.

“He confessed to buying the crystal meth in Phnom Penh to sell to drug users who are fertilizer workers in [Takhmao’s] Samrong 3 village,” he said.

Provincial police chief Iv Chamroeun confirmed the arrest and said he remembered Mr. Vat from his days in the police force.

“Mom Vat has been retired for about 10 years from our police but he used to be the district police chief in Koh Thom and Ponhea Leu, and in Takhmao,” Mr. Chamroeun said.

“I knew him well,” he added.

Mr. Chamroeun said Mr. Vat had only recently entered the meth trade but that members of his family were well-known drug dealers in the area.

“Vat had just started to deal drugs, but our police arrested his son-in-law, and his son also used to be a drug dealer, and was arrested by our police and put in jail,” he said, adding both had since been released.

According to Mr. Sokong, the former police chief was on Wednesday charged with drug distribution at the Kandal Provincial Court and sent to the provincial prison to await trial.

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