Stung Treng Police Investigate Meth Seizure Near Lao Border

Stung Treng provincial police said yes­terday that they had arrested three suspects for allegedly at­temp­ting to smuggle more than 30,000 meth­amphetamine pills into Cam­bo­dia on Monday, ad­ding that it was the second time this year that a large meth­amphetamine haul had been stopped near the Lao border.

Nou Hour, chief of the provincial nar­cotics bureau, said Thy Tha, 60, and her daughter Thorn Phearom, 22, had been caught with 30,034 pills near a ferry in Thala Barivat district’s Preah Romkil commune.

“After questioning, they confessed that they had been asked to bring it,” he said, adding that another suspect, Long Bunry, 28, was ar­res­ted later but had not confessed to any involvement.

“We believe that the suspects did not have enough money to buy such a large amount of pills. There is a big smuggler’s order behind it,” Mr Hour said, explaining that he es­timated the street value of the pills to be between $50,000 and $60,000.

Mr Hour declined to comment on whether police had received a tip indicating that the two local wo­men were carrying the drugs.

“Now police are hunting the source of the smuggling…. We noted that the drugs were being tran­sported to Phnom Penh and then distributed to the provinces,” he said.

Mr Hour stressed that the number of drug smugglers that were being caught in the border region was on the rise, noting that during an­­other operation in February, po­lice had confiscated 29,853 pills and arrested two men who crossed the Lao border on a hired motorcycle.

So far this year, police have confiscated about 100,000 methamphetamine pills in 14 cases of drug smuggling from Laos, compared to a total of 12 cases last year, he said.

Provincial prosecutor Chroeng Khmao said the suspects had been placed in provisional detention at Stung Treng Provincial Prison.

“All were charged with illegal drug smuggling,” he said. “We are still investigating to find out who gave the [smuggling] orders in this case.”


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