Int’l Drug Kingpin Deported to Hong Kong

A Chinese man suspected of being a major international drug traf­ficker was deported from Cam­bodia to Hong Kong on Monday, po­lice said Wednesday.

Cambodian police arrested Wong Moon Chi, 44, in Phnom Penh on Dec 8, before detaining him at the Immigration Police De­partment and then handing him over to the Hong Kong authorities, police said.

Wong was allegedly involved in about 20 drug smuggling cases, said Chhay Sinarith, director of the Min­istry of Interior’s Information De­partment, and had allegedly been trafficking drugs to Hong Kong, Australia, and the US.

Wong had been operating a tra­vel company from a rented office at the Phnom Penh Hotel, Chhay Sinar­ith added.

He trafficked cannabis, am­phet­a­mines and heroin and had used Cam­bodia as a transit point, T­he As­­sociated Press quoted Bit Kim Hing, a senior Interior Ministry of­ficial, as saying on Wednesday.

In 2000, he allegedly smuggled about 300 kg of heroin from Cam­bodia to mainland China, Bit Kim Hong told the news agency.

One former police official said on condition of anonymity Wednes­­­­day that Wong had been living in Cambodia since 1996 and that anti-narcotics police had been aware of his activities.

Police began investigating Wong in April, after receiving in­for­mation about him from Inter­pol, Chhay Sinarith said.

“He brought foreigners to gamble in Cambodia,” said Chhay Si­na­­rith, adding that he made many friends in Cambodia and had opened a business. The suspect was using a Chi­nese passport in the name of Du Yu­rong at the time of his arrest, he added.

The US Embassy on Wednes­day lauded the arrest and deportation. The collaboration between Cam­bodian and Hong Kong au­thorities “marks an important step in regional cooperation to fight in­ternational [drug] trafficking,” US Embassy spokeswoman Heide Bronke said.

Graham Shaw of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime also applauded the deportation. “We were aware there were networks operating, but we’ve never known who they were or what na­tionalities they were before,” Shaw said.

Wong may have helped new drug trafficking networks take root here, and someone of his al­leged criminal stature may also have been involved in money laun­der­ing and human trafficking, Shaw said. “I would guess there would be concerns, and police also appear to have concerns, of a network already operating because of this guy,” he said.


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