Smugglers From Laos Caught With Large Crystal Meth Haul

Police in Ratanakkiri province seized 1 kg and 1,400 pills of methamphetamine during sting operations on two traffickers on Sunday and Monday who were suspected of smuggling in the drugs from Laos.

Provincial police chief Nuon Koeun said Sit Vy, 38, a Laotian citizen, was arrested on Monday afternoon with approximately 1 kg of crystal methamphetamine and Souna Lak was detained the previous day with a haul of 1,400 pills.

He said the two men were arrested by undercover anti-drug police officers posing as buyers following investigations into drugs crossing Cambodia’s porous northern border with Laos.

“We arrested one Laotian citizen and confiscated 1 kg of crystal meth in Veun Sai district’s Pakalan commune, and another man was arrested in Pong commune,” Brigadier General Koeun said.

“This case was a crackdown by our provincial anti-drug police, who spent over two months investigating after we heard the smugglers were trafficking the drug into Ratanakkiri province from Laos across Stung Treng,” he added.

Brig. Gen. Koeun said it was the biggest drug bust in the northeastern province this year.

“This is the first time we confiscated 1 kg of crystal meth this year. Last year there was one time we confiscated 1 kg of crystal meth, too, which was also smuggled from Laos,” he said.

Mr. Vy was in police custody and would be sent to the provincial court today, while Mr. Lak was charged with drug trafficking on Monday and sent to provisional detention, he said.

Mom Vanda, deputy prosecutor at the provincial court, confirmed that Mr. Lak had been charged, adding that he had both Cambodian and Lao citizenship and made regular trips between the two countries.

The Interior Ministry’s anti-drug trafficking department announced last month that it had seized more than 87 kg of hard drugs and 1.5 tons of marijuana in the first nine months of 2015, a sharp increase compared to the same period last year.

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