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Second Policeman Dies After Drug Bust

One policeman who was in critical condition following a drug bust shootout Tuesday died of his wounds Wednesday, officials said.

Sgt. Sreng Bunnareth, 37, a member of the municipal anti-drug police since 1996, died from wounds he received in the arrest of a drug trafficking suspect, officials said.

“He was one of the very active policemen and nearly always present in operations,” said Touch Muy Soir, chief of the anti-drug unit.

“In the operation we had four wounded, as well as a policeman killed,” he said. “A second died on the 23rd because of a very critical injury.”

“We are now seeking the leader of the group of traffickers,” he added. “We already have a lead.”

Police arrest trafficking suspect Keb Samon, 27, on Tuesday, but only after he was able to pull a gun and shoot at the arresting officers.

Keb Samon had already been handcuffed, hands in front, when he pulled a gun and fired at police. Officer Chhoeung Vireak, 36, died immediately from gunshot wounds.

Following the arrest, police confiscated a supply of crystal methamphetamine, and Touch Muy Soir said the suspect was part of an important group involved in drug trafficking in the capital.

Experts have said Cambodia is now becoming a source of drug manufacturing, not just a transit point, as it had been in the past.