Three Charged After Siem Reap Drug Busts

The Siem Reap Provincial Court on Saturday charged a German and two Cambodians following a raid last week in which police seized marijuana from two establishments that cater to tourists, officials said.

In total, 21 people, including 17 foreign nationals, were arrested on Tuesday at the Special Happy Pizza restaurant and Villa Anjuna guesthouse. Police said they found about 1 kg of marijuana and three boxes of a white powder.

Court prosecutor Ty Sovinthal said the German co-owner of Villa Anjuna, Frank Grieger, 43; Sim Pros, 43, the restaurant’s owner; and Phal Soheak, 29 a tuk-tuk driver, were charged on Saturday.

“The court decided to hold a Ger­­man national and two Khmer citizens in pretrial detention,” Mr. Sovinthal said, declining to elaborate on the charges.

Deputy provincial police chief Oum Ammara said the Cambo­dians were charged with facilitating drug dealing and Mr. Grieger was charged with drug possession and distribution. The rest of those arrested have all been released, he said.

Mr. Grieger has denied distributing drugs, and says the white powder was MDPV, a “designer drug” that is not specifically banned under the law.

Anne Grieger, Mr. Grieger’s wife and co-owner of Villa Anjuna, who was arrested along with her husband but released without charge, claimed that during her detention, police stole more than $10,000 worth of possessions from the guesthouse.

“A lot of stuff is stolen, especially from my guests,” she said, claiming that cash in dollars and euros, speakers, sunglasses, laptop computers and alcohol were missing when she returned to the guesthouse, which was under guard of police after the arrests.

She said she was not able to reopen the guesthouse because so much had been taken, and said an attempt to register the theft with police was unsuccessful since the same police who had been guarding the guesthouse turned up when she reported it tourism police.

“They just drove away,” Ms. Grieger said. “They all work together, you know.”

Oum Sa Ath, provincial anti-drug police chief, said he did not be­lieve Ms. Grieger’s accusations, but urged her to file an official complaint with his department.

“Our police stayed and patrolled outside [the guesthouse] for two days,” he said. “Police don’t do that, if they did, they would be punished.”

(Additional reporting by Phok Dorn)

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