Narcotics Officer’s Car Shot In Latest Drug-Related Row

An official in the Interior Min­istry’s narcotics division was shot Tuesday night, topping off more than three weeks of attacks against anti-drug forces, police said Wednesday.

Long Vicheth, a 40-year-old officer in charge of collecting documents on pending drug cases, was unhurt but said his car was seriously damaged by bullets.

The attack occurred at 6:30 pm Tuesday on the corner of Mon­i­vong and Street 182 when six men in civilian clothing shot Long Vicheth’s car, said Heng Peo, dep­uty chief of the national anti-drug police.

On Wednesday, Heng Peo blamed ongoing tension between military police and anti-drug police because of crackdowns on illegal drug activity earlier this month. He appealed for help from the government and international agencies. “So long as people can take revenge on anti-drug en­forcement, we will have great difficulty cracking down on drug dealers,” Heng Peo said.

Two weeks ago, military police opened fire on Heng Peo’s residence and the nearby Interpol office. No one was hurt, but the attack caused Heng Peo to say he would ease up on a nationwide effort to crack down on drugs.

The incident occurred after se­v­en military police were disarmed and detained for allegedly making threats against national anti-drug police, a charge they denied.

Earlier this month, two people were killed when anti-drug police from the Interior Ministry staged a sting operation near Lucky Market on Sihanouk Boulevard. Po­lice confiscated 5,000 amphetamine tablets. Last month, a military policeman in Kandal pro­vince was sentenced to 10 years in prison on drug char­ges.

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