‘Ice’ Seized, 3 Arrested in Laos Border Operation

Police in Laos arrested a Cambodian woman along with two Laotians moments after the trio crossed Cambodia’s northeastern border carrying 6 kg of crystal methamphetamine on Sunday, anti-drug police said Tuesday.

The three suspects, including Cambodian national Bun Neat, 48, had been under surveillance by Stung Treng provincial security forces. As soon as they crossed the border in a pickup truck on Sunday afternoon, Laotian police detained them and seized a large quantity of the drug also known as “ice,” said In Song, deputy chief of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug police.

“We suspected they were drug smugglers crossing into Laos and our anti-drug police reported this to the Laotian police and we were keeping a watch on them. When their Vigo pickup truck was stopped, they had 6 kg of ice in their possession,” he said.

Mr. Song said police on both sides of the border have been cooperating closely since the beginning of 2015 to crack down on cross-border smuggling.

“So far this year, there have been four operations in which the exchange of information has led to 13 kg of ice being confiscated and 21 suspected drug smugglers being arrested, including four Cambodians,” he said.

Cambodia’s porous border with Laos stretches some 500 km and provides a link to the drug-producing region dubbed the Golden Triangle, a mountainous area overlapping Laos, Thailand and Burma that forms one of the centers of the illegal drug smuggling trade.

Prior to Tuesday’s arrests, police on the Cambodian side of the border detained seven Laotians since January and seized 18 kg of drugs, mostly ice and methamphetamine pills.

Meas Vyrith, deputy secretary of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said the recent arrests showed the increasing success of cross-border cooperation between the two countries’ anti-drug police.

Figures released by the authority last week showed a spike in drug arrests and seizures in the first four months of the year, up 163 percent compared to the same period in 2014.

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