Successful Drug Raid Nabs 3 as Arrests Continue to Increase

Police arrested three people and confiscated about 1 kg of methamphetamine pills in a raid in Kompong Chhnang province on Saturday afternoon, the latest case in a year that has seen nearly three times as many meth busts as in the same period last year, officials said.

Yen Panharith, a bureau chief in the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug police department, said Me Rem, 45, smuggled the drugs from Battambang province. Sam Saroeun, 56, was driving the van in which the drugs were found, while his wife Yon Mom, 36, was a passenger.

“We arrested them on National Road 5 in Boribor district, Popel commune, using our undercover anti-drug police after spending two days arranging a deal with them to buy their drugs at a price of $38,000 a kilogram,” he said.

“We handed them over to Kompong Chhnang provincial anti-drug police to process their case,” Mr. Panharith added.

Pov Siphan, Kompong Chhnang provincial anti-drug police chief, said the three would be sent to court today.

“We will send them to Kompong Chhnang Provincial Court tomorrow along with the 10,100 methamphetamine pills, weighing 934.79 grams, which belong to Mr. Rem,” he said.

According to Deputy National Police Commissioner Mok Chito, 1,668 drug busts led to 3,402 arrests and the seizure of 87.5 kg of drugs—not including marijuana—in the first nine months of the year. In 2014, 564 busts led to 1,345 arrests and 43 kg of seized drugs.

Lieutenant General Chito attributed the rise to an increase in drug smuggling.

“It is a universal issue that we need to cooperate on with neighboring Laos, Thailand and Vietnam,” he said. “Especially we need to closely cooperate with Laos to crack down on the many cases of drug smuggling across the order.”

In June, a record $3 million drug bust in Phnom Penh led to the arrest of three and the seizure of almost 55 kg of methamphetamine and heroin, most of which was destined for Taiwan, police said at the time.

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