Three Taiwanese men and a Vietnamese woman were arrested Monday in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district and are in the custody of Interior Ministry police after the suspects were found with heroin, drug paraphernalia and a handgun, along with 111 bullets, according to a district police report.
The report said the three Tai-wanese men—Yong Zhong Fat, 33, Chhay Mingchui, 38, and Linh Chang Fat, 42—and 35-year-old Chang Thi, of Vietnam, were found in possession of about 15 grams of heroin and a handgun.
Interior Ministry anti-drug police chief Moek Dara said that Chang Thi had operated as a drug dealer in Phnom Penh nightclubs, and that one of the Taiwanese men was a major player in the Cambodian heroin trade.
“One of the three men is a ringleader that we have spent many months trying to arrest; he is a
mastermind of heroin dealing in Phnom Penh,” Moek Dara said, declining to identify which of the three men was thought to be the ringleader.
Drug trafficking by Taiwanese citizens in Cambodia has been common in recent years, and Chuor Kimny, chief of police at Phnom Penh International Airport, said in December that customs officials were paying extra attention to people flying to or from Taipei, as a large percentage of people arrested for drug violations were flying to Taiwan.
In December, a Taiwanese man was arrested at the airport after police said they found him with about 500 grams of heroin. In October, another Taiwanese man was sentenced to 22 years in prison and fined $12,500 after police found him with about 240 grams of heroin at the airport in December 2007.