Two Charged for Theft of $3,000 of Medicine

A pharmacy owner and a hospital worker were jailed on charges of theft in Ratanakkiri province on Thursday for allegedly stealing $3,000 worth of medicine from the provincial referral hospital earlier in the week, officials said on Friday.

Luy Ty, 30, the owner of the Pon­leu Sokapheap pharmacy in Banlung City and Heng Ratana, 40, who oversaw the medicine storeroom at the referral hospital, were arrestedon Tuesday in response to a complaint filed by the hospital’s director, according to deputy provincial police chief Phen Dina.

“We arrested them at the prov­incial police headquarters after we called them in for questioning,” he said.

On Thursday, the men were sent to the Ratanakkiri Provincial Court and charged.

“The court charged them with theft in the afternoon, and they were put in prison for pretrial detention,” said Investigating Judge Suos La.

“The court confiscated three boxes of medicine and 1,200 bottles of a type of antibiotic,” he added.

Hospital director Hing Than Sakunthea, who filed the complaint against the men, said a security guard had tipped him off to the theft.

“Our guard saw [Mr. Ra­ta­na] steal the medicine from our storeroom at about midnight,” he said.

“The medicine was recently brought from Phnom Penh, and it cost about $3,000,” he added, declining to say what kind of medicine was stolen.
A photograph of the haul provided by provincial police shows garbage bags stuffed with pill bottles and boxes, along with boxes of latex gloves.

Ly Sovann, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said he had not received an official report from the provincial health department about the crime and was disappointed that the referral hospital had allowed the theft to take place.

“Health officials, especially health departments at the provincial level, have to have good management and be responsible,” he said.

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