Police Confiscate 3 Tons of Unlicensed Medicine

Police seized more than 3 tons of unlicensed medicine valued at $1 million from a home in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district on Wednesday and arrested its owner following a surveillance operation of cargo deliveries at Phnom Penh International Airport, officials said.

Police raided the house in Phnom Penh Thmei commune at 10 a.m. and confiscated 402 boxes containing up to 11 different types of medicine, which suspect Teng Sokporn, 40, admitted to having smuggled into the country, said Long Sreng, chief of the Interior Ministry’s economic crime police.

“There were 402 boxes with 11 different kinds of medicines that may have been airplane cargo as they had DHL stickers on them,” he said, referring to labels used by the international logistics company.

Mr. Sreng said that he did not believe the drugs were counterfeit and said that two types in particular —used to treat diabetes and to aid weight loss—were remarkably expensive, accounting for more than half the total estimated value.

“[Those] two kinds of medicine alone cost $680,000, with the rest bringing the total to more than $1 million…. That is a huge amount—I don’t think it can be all brought by air,” he said, adding that DHL denied having shipped the boxes.

Mr. Sreng said that despite the suspect’s admissions, he did not tell police the origin of the drugs and claimed to be unaware how the contraband had crossed the border or what smuggling routes and modes of transport were used.

The website of the National Police on Wednesday quoted deputy municipal prosecutor Tep Chhun Long saying that it was too early to determine whether the seized drugs were genuine or fake.

“These medicines are very expensive but it is not yet certain whether the drugs are real or fake until the are sent to the lab for testing,” he said.

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