Yet Another Gov’t Anti-Drug Official Arrested

B Meanchey police officer latest taken in by Anticorruption Unit

In the latest spate of high-profile detentions of government officials for as-yet-unspecified criminal charges, officials said yesterday that Lieutenant By Nasy, chief of the Banteay Meanchey Provincial police’s anti-drug unit, was arrested at his office at about 3 pm.

The arrest of Mr Nasy comes after officials from the Interior Mi­nistry and Anticorruption Unit on Wednesday detained Lieute­nant General Moek Dara, the secretary-general of the National Authority of Combating Drugs, alongside Lieutenant Colonel Chea Leang, another NACD official.

Former Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Hun Hean and his deputy, Chheng Son, have also been detained in what officials are now saying is a related case.

“We arrested him and sent him straight to the Ministry of Interior because the arrest has been made by the upper level,” said Chan Kosal, acting police chief for Ban­teay Meanchey province, referring to the arrest of Mr Nasy.

Mr Kosal said that he was un­aware whether the arrest was linked to any other recent arrest.

However, he revealed that both Mr Hean and Mr Son had both been sent to Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court early yesterday morning for questioning.

Ang Mealty, president of the provincial court, also confirmed yesterday that Mr Hean and Mr Son had been brought in for questioning, but declined to elaborate.

“We are questioning them and I cannot reveal any details because it is the secrecy of the court,” he said.

Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Ung Oeun said yesterday that Mr Hean had been brought to the court in relation to allegations related to corruption and illegal drugs. He added that Mr Hean had been sent to Siem Reap Provincial Prison yesterday evening, before declining to elaborate.

“They accuse him [Mr Hean] with a case related to corruption and drugs. The Ministry [of Interior] is working on this directly,” he said, adding, “Mr Hun Hean was sent to Siem Reap prison.”

But Chem Savuth, Siem Reap Provincial Prison director, said that he had no information on the whereabouts of Mr Hean. “I have not seen him,” he said.

Deputy national police chief Sok Phal said that Lt Gen Dara had been sent to Anticorruption Unit headquarters in Phnom Penh on Thursday after being detained at the Interior Ministry since Wednesday.

Mr Dara “was sent to the Anticorruption headquarters since yesterday morning at about 8 am,” said Mr Phal.

Anticorruption Unit spokesman Keo Remy declined to comment yesterday on the recent arrests and detentions, saying only that details on the ever-evolving case would possible come out next week.

“Like I say, please understand I cannot comment,” he said “We are in the process of letting them investigate.”

(Additional reporting by Simon Marks)


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