Seven Men Arraigned Over Marijuana Bust

Seven men are scheduled to ap­pear in Phnom Penh Municipal Court this morning in connection with the discovery of more than 100 kg of marijuana at a Dang­­kao district house, police said  Sunday.

Police officials, however, gave conflicting reports on Sunday re­garding initial claims that at least one of the seven drug smuggling suspects was an RCAF officer.

Interior Ministry Anti-Drug De­partment Chief Moek Dara said Fri­day that RCAF Lieutenant-Colonel Mam Bros was arrested on Thursday following a police ope­ration at the Mittapheap Hotel in Phnom Penh. Police also raided a residence in Dangkao district where the marijuana and two ma­chines used in the refining and packing process were discovered. A total of seven suspects were ar­rested, Moek Dara said.

On Sunday, Chan Sophal, de­pu­ty chief of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Drug Department, and Sok Chhour, chief of the department’s ad­ministration, denied any of the seven men had links to the RCAF.

“The seven involved in marijuana, none of them are RCAF soldiers…. Now they are in the custody of the In­terior Ministry,” Chan Sophal said.

The marijuana was transported from Koh Kong province to Phnom Penh where it was being specially packed at the house in Dangkao district for transport overseas, Chan Sophal said, ad­ding that the ringleader of the operation was still at large.

According to Chan Sophal, po­lice had monitored the group for about four months.                                    Adding to the conflicting claims regarding the identities of the suspects, deputy chief of Dangkao district police, Chuop Sok Heng, said Sunday that the owner of the house where the drugs were discovered was a former soldier.

Chuop Sok Heng also said that three other suspects in the group of seven may have been undercover military operatives, but declined to elaborate.


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