Oknha Nabbed in 50 Kg Drug Bust

An oknha arrested at a hotel he owns in Ratanakkiri province was linked on Friday to the seizure of 50 kg of heroin and methamphetamine that was discovered during a series of busts across Phnom Penh this week, police said.

Syla Loy, identified as an oknha, an honorific bestowed upon wealthy business people who make hefty donations to the government, was arrested on Thursday at his Ratanak Sambath Hotel in the provincial capital of Bunlung City, according to Phen Dina, deputy provincial police chief.

Mr. Dina confirmed on Friday that Mr. Loy had been “provisionally detained” in Phnom Penh at the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Drug department, but declined to comment on the how the detention related to Phnom Penh busts.

Deputy National Police Commissioner Mok Chito, however, confirmed that Mr. Loy was “involved” in the mammoth haul found in the capital and said more would be explained at a news conference at the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department on Saturday.

The $100,000 value of the royally bestowed honorific recently rose five-fold, now requiring a donation of more than $500,000 to the state, according to a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen in March.

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