Phnom Penh’s anti-drug police apprehended a dozen university students partying in a guest house on Saturday.
The students, aged 17 to 21, were smoking methamphetamine, or yama, in a room at the Kolab Krahorm (Red Rose) guest house in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Kandal commune, according to deputy chief Iv Thearith.
He said the students, two of whom were young women, remained in custody on Sunday as police “educated” them and questioned them about their backgrounds. But Iv Thearith said the students will be released to their parents and not sent to the court, on account of their age.
The anti-drug police have released students caught using drugs before, citing the offenders’ status as students. Earlier this month, Phnom Penh anti-drug police apprehended 10 youths, aged 16 to 21, during a raid on a party at a guest house in Russei Keo district. Those youths, suspected of using yama, were also released without charges.
Law enforcement officials have remarked numerous times this year on the spread of yama, as middle-class youths appear to favor it. In other anti-drug efforts, Prampi Makara district police carried out City Hall’s orders, shutting down the Thmor Dos Diamond guest house in Boeung Pralit commune on Thursday.
District police Chief Yim Simany said Sunday that the guest house owner was suspected of selling yama pills to guests and failing to register those guests. “We have suspected [the guest house owner] many times, but last month we cracked down when three men were in the guest house on drugs,” Yim Simany said.
The district police then filed a complaint with City Hall, which authorized the temporary closure of the guest house. “We have educated him, but the owner always ignored [us], so now we penalize him,” Yim Simany said.