Police Arrest Sixteen in Stung Treng Drug Bust

Military police arrested 16 people and confiscated more than 3,000 methamphetamine pills during a coordinated drug bust in Stung Treng City on Sunday and Monday.

The two-day raid in the city’s Stung Treng commune netted 3,450 pills as well as various drug paraphernalia, Stung Treng provincial military police commander Ieng Vandy said Monday.

“We arrested six people [Sunday] and 10 more [Monday], including three women, in separate locations throughout the same commune,” Colonel Vandy said.

Military police spokesman Kheng Tito said the arrested individuals include both methamphetamine traffickers and users, and would be sent to the provincial court for questioning today.

“All of them are involved with the drugs, and it’s up to the court prosecutors to find out who was more or less involved with the drugs,” Brigadier General Tito said, adding that the drugs and other evidence seized would also be handed over to court officials.

Stung Treng province has long been a gateway for smuggling illegal drugs into Cambodia from the Golden Triangle, and lately a conduit for methamphetamine originating in Laos.

On July 29, anti-drug police arrested a 39-year-old Laotian man for smuggling nearly a kilogram of methamphetamine into the province’s Thala Barivat district.

According to a report released in May by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, “transnational and Asian drug trafficking groups continue to target Cambodia as a source, transit and destination country for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and other illicit drugs.”

Methamphetamine was the most commonly seized type of drug in both 2012 and 2013, according to the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD). Police confiscated 17.3 kg of methamphetamine pills and 32.4 kg of methamphetamine powder last year, NACD figures show.

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