Police Arrest Alleged Ice Smugglers in Stung Treng, Phnom Penh

A Laotian man caught smuggling almost a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine into Stung Treng province was arrested in Thala Barivat district on Monday morning, police said.

Khampha Sythou, 40, was busted with 911 grams of “ice” in O’Svay commune after entering Cambodia from Laos’ Bolikhamsai province, Stung Treng provincial anti-drug police chief Nou Hour said.

“The Laotian man said it was his first time trying to smuggle drugs into Cambodia. However, according to my experience in previous cases, most arrested drug traffickers would say that it is their first time while in fact they might have been smuggling drugs into Cambodia before,” he said.

Mr. Hour added that police had used “special skills” to apprehend the suspect, who would be charged today, but declined to reveal details of his department’s techniques.

On April 29, two other Laotians were arrested in Stung Treng, also with about 1 kilogram of crystal methamphetamine.

The drug trafficking route from Laos through Stung Treng province is well documented, and as recently as March 2014 Interior Minister Sar Kheng told officials to shut it off, even accusing some of being complicit with traffickers.

Separately, anti-drug police arrested two Cambodians and three Nigerians on Friday in Phnom Penh after uncovering more than one kilogram of crystal methamphetamine at a rented house in Meanchey district, Khieu Samon, chief of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug trafficking department said on Monday.

“Anti-drug police arrested two Cambodian traffickers first at around 1:30 [p.m.] in Stung Meanchey district after police had been tracking them down for awhile,” he said.

Information gleaned through interrogations of the pair led to the arrest of the three Nigerians, who were busted with more than one kilogram of crystal methamphetamine at the property in Dangkao district’s commune of the same name, and are thought to be the masterminds of the whole operation, Mr. Samon added.

He declined to name any of the suspects.

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