Anti-drug police confiscated nearly 50 kg of heroin and crystal methamphetamine, plus meth powder and pills, during a series of raids in Phnom Penh this week allegedly connected to a regional drug trafficking syndicate, an official said yesterday.
But the ringleaders are now unlikely to be apprehended as information about the busts was leaked and published yesterday by the Koh Santepheap newspaper, a Khmer-language daily, said Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs.
The source of the leak was currently unknown, Mr. Vyrith said.
“We are still continuing the investigation, which requires cooperation from other people,” he said. “Just know that it is linked with people living in Laos and Thailand,” he said.
He estimated that the drugs could have a street value of about $500,000.
Mr. Vyrith said officials involved in the operation had been told not to talk to the media about the raids as it was an ongoing investigation involving regional drug syndicates.
Despite this, the newspaper article published yesterday detailed the busts in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmei commune on Tuesday.
The article also says police officers found 2 kg of drugs on two people arrested near Phsar Thmei in Daun Penh district. The two people later led police to the location of about 50 kg of drugs in total, the article claims.
Mok Hong, police chief of Sen Sok district, declined to comment on the case and hung up on a reporter. Doung Vannak, acting police chief of Phnom Penh Thmei commune, who took part in the operation, also declined to comment.
In Song, an anti-drug department official, said he couldn’t provide any details about the case as police were still searching for the ringleaders.
Mr. Vyrith said the raids took place in different districts across the city and were thought to be connected to the same criminal group.
He declined to divulge the location of any of the raids, and said the drugs were likely intended for the Cambodian market and an unidentified second country. He said the 50 kg of drugs were currently being stored at the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department.