Anti-drug police have arrested four people, including two policemen from the Ministry of Interior, in a series of drug sting operations over the past 10 days.
The drug-related arrests are the first of other policemen since last March when military police surrounded the former Interpol police headquarters and Anti-Drug Police Chief Heng Peo’s house in retaliation for drug crackdowns. At least one grenade was launched in the fight.
Hong Kimlak, 39, a public order policeman, was arrested in a sting operation in Srah Chak commune, Don Penh district on Nov 3. Hong Kimlak was arrested after he tried to sell an undercover policeman 300 grams of heroin, Heng Peo said.
Phon Chum, a 28-year-old marine border policeman from the Ministry of Interior, was arrested on Oct 28 in Tuol Tumpong commune, Chamkar Mon district in possession of 2,000 amphetamine pills, Heng Peo said.
While Heng Peo did not comment on why the recent crackdown was launched, he did say drug trafficking in Cambodia is still active.
“Throughout last week’s Water Festival, drug smugglers were still smuggling drugs although policemen in Phnom Penh were on duty,” Heng Peo said.
Anti-drug police also seized 740 grams of heroin in Kratie province on Oct 31 and arrested
Kuon Sary, 21, and Hen Pon, 39, for attempting to smuggle heroin out of Cambodia, Kratie police chief Touch Naroth said.
Kuon Sary and Hen Pon told Kratie police that they used to sell heroin to a former military policeman, Keo Aknopheap. The military policeman was arrested in Phnom Penh by anti-drug police last year, Touch Naroth said.
Hen Pon also told police he had smuggled about 12 kg of heroin from Burma in six different trips since 1997, Touch Naroth said.
Touch Naroth estimated the street value of a kilogram of heroin in Cambodia to be between $17,000 and $20,000.
Cambodia has become a transit point for heroin in recent years with the drug traveling over the Laos-Cambodia border, through Stung Treng province and on to Kratie province, drug experts have said. Laos is the third largest producer of heroin in the world and Burma the first, according to UN figures.
Heroin is often moved into Vietnam and through Phnom Penh out to world markets, Touch Naroth explained.