Prisoners Rearrested After Drugs Found in Cell

Three prisoners from Tbong Khmum province’s Correctional Center 3 were transferred to provincial police custody on Saturday after authorities found them to be in possession of 12 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Mao Pov, Tbong Khmum provincial police chief, said three bags of crystal methamphetamine were found among two of the prisoners’ possessions. The search was carried out by a provincial prosecutor and anti-drug police, who were called in after a security guard reported suspicions that the inmates were using drugs, according to Mr. Pov.

“First we checked their belongings in one large cell where 88 prisoners are staying. We found two bags of drugs in Var Heng’s pillowcase and another bag of drugs in Ros Savath’s trousers,” said Chea Choeun, the province’s anti-drug police chief.

When questioned, the prisoners inculpated a third inmate, Loek Kry.

In photographs of the prisoners’ stash posted to the website of the Fresh News service, five sizeable homemade pipes that appear to have been crafted out of water bottles and plastic straws are displayed alongside the drugs.

Phin Yan, director of the prison, said the three suspects were all serving long sentences for violent crimes, including rape and armed robbery.

“I have only been the director of the prison for one month and two days,” said Major General Yan when asked for more detail about how the drugs came to enter the prison system.

Sorn Keo, spokesman for the government’s general department of prisons, admitted that guards and wardens had struggled to control drug use within prisons.

“This case is not a surprise, because we used to crack down on many cases where prisoners’ relatives hid drugs in the food for the prisoners,” he said.

The men are expected to be sent to court today.

soenthrith@cambodiadaily.com

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