Woman Charged With Drug Smuggling, Production

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday charged a Chinese woman, arrested during Sunday’s large-scale police raid, with drug smuggling and illegal drug production, said Ouk Savouth, the court’s chief prosecutor.

Chinese national Raun Yan, 28, was arrested in Tuol Kok district with a ton of chemical substances, as 17 men were arrested on a 20-hectare plot of land with two tons of chemical substances in Phnom Sruoch district’s Treng Trayoeng commune in Kompong Speu province.

“Raun Yan was charged and sent to prison,” Ouk Savouth said.

Three of the 17 men arrested in Kompong Speu province—one Thai national and two Chinese nationals—are to be charged by the provincial court today, said Khut Sopheang, the court’s chief prosecutor.

“We are questioning them one by one,” he said, adding that the remaining 14 Cambodians arrested in the raid will be charged at a later date.

Moek Dara, anti-drug police chief for the Interior Ministry, said his department has not yet analyzed the chemicals seized in the raid on Saturday but will do so with the help of the US Drug En­for­cement Agency.

On Monday, the National Autho­rity for Combating Drugs said 400 to 500 kg of chloro-ephedrine, a substance created during the production of methamphetamines, was seized during the raids.

Sok Khmemarin, deputy police chief for Kompong Speu provin­ce, said that the 14 Cambodians are likely innocent and were hired simply to mix chemicals that they were told were for killing weeds.

Jeff Daigle, US Embassy spo­kes­man, confirmed Wednesday that DEA experts are assisting local authorities in analyzing the chemicals seized.

“[DEA officials] are providing technical advice on the case and trying to identify what chemicals were found and how to properly handle the chemicals,” he said.

     (Additional reporting by James Welsh.)




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