Military Police Apprehend 5, Seize Drugs at Karaoke Club

In an early morning raid on a Phnom Penh nightclub on Sun­day, military police arrested five people, seizing an undisclosed amount of crystal methamphetamine and cannabis and briefly questioning over 100 mainly Malaysian, Viet­namese and Chi­nese revelers, military police said.

A woman and four men, including Cambodian Taing Theng Se, 59, the owner of the Mega karaoke club, were arrested and were scheduled to be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today in connection with drugs found at the club, said Brigadier General Men Ra of the military police’s judicial and information department. He said he did not know the names of the other suspects.

“We arrested the drug users and drug distributors as well as the club owner,” he said. “During the raid we found obvious evidence involved in drug use such as ice methamphetamine and marijuana.”

After questioning, the nightclubgoers were released at the club on Street 282 in Boeng Keng Kang I commune, he said.

Others suspected of drug use were taken to the municipal office of social affairs and warned against drug use and the risks of spending time at a club where drugs are present, he said.

“Most of the clients who visited this club are foreigners from Malaysia, Vietnam and China,” he said.

Chamkar Mon district police chief Ouch Sokhon said his officers had investigated the club for drug activity for weeks but had not participated in the raid.

“We observed this club for 15 days already, and we were ready to raid this club. Unfortunately, the military force did it first,” he said.

Chan Soveth, chief monitor for the local rights group Adhoc, said that large-scale police raids can sometimes round up innocent people and result in human-rights violations.

“They should conduct a serious investigation searching for the real drug traffickers before they do something,” he said.

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