Police Sergeant Among Three Men Arrested for Drug Crimes

Police in Battambang province on Friday apprehended three people—including a police sergeant from another province—in separate drug-related arrests, police officials said yesterday, netting a total of 22.4 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 122 amphetamine pills.

Provincial anti-drug bureau police chief Chao Savong said his officers arrested 32-year-old Ork Samnang, a Banteay Meanchey provincial police sergeant, on Friday in Battambang city’s Tuol Ta Ek commune while he was waiting on a client.

“But our anti-drug policemen suspected the drug trafficking and confiscated 79 pills of amphetamines and one small bag of ice, because we knew the suspect after we arrested his client on Thursday,” Mr Savong said.

“The police sergeant from Bant­eay Meanchey province was arrested, but we do not know how long he has been trafficking drugs because he is a policeman in Bant­eay Mean­chey province,” said Chea Thuon, Battam­bang province depu­ty police chief in charge of drug trafficking.

Banteay Meanchey provincial po­lice chief Hun Hean said yesterday that he could not confirm whether Mr Samnang was on his force but would look into the matter today.

Mr Savong, the anti-drug chief in Battambang, identified Mr Sam­nang’s alleged intended customer as Kin Samnang, 41. He said local police had known of Kin Samnang’s alleged illicit activities for some time but had failed to arrest him for drug possession until now.

“On Thursday…we did arrest him and confiscated 41 pills of amphetamines and three small bags of ice,” he said. “Now both of them have been sent to the court and the court has put them in pretrial detention.”

Also on Thursday, police arrested Les Tiet, 25, in a Kam Rieng district hotel for possessing two amphetamine pills. After the arrest, however, he allegedly confessed to taking part in five gang-related armed robberies be­tween February and April, Mr Sa­vong said. Mr Savong described Mr Tiet as the gang’s leader and said he was sent to the provincial court on Saturday.

Though a number of police officials have been implicated in drug-related crimes in recent months, government officials have insisted that ­cases are rare and isolated events.

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