Banteay Meanchey provincial court on Monday charged four senior police officials with corruption in relation to drug trafficking, following a spate of arrests over the last week.
The charges were handed down to Hun Hean, former police chief of the province; his deputy, Chheang Son ; Moek Dara, former secretary-general for the National Authority for Combatting Drugs; and Chea Leng, former head of the Ministry of Interior's counter-drug department.
All four, who were removed from their posts before they were arrested in questioning by authorities last week, had been the targets of an Anti-Corruption Unit investigation.
“Now we've charged them with taking bribes in relation to a drug trafficking case,” Ton Sihak Teches, prosecutor for the Bantey Meanchey provincial court, told VOA Khmer.
Though all four were charged at the provincial court, they were arrested and held separately: Moek Dara in Prey Sar prison, outside Phnom Penh, Chea Leng in Banteay Meanchey provincial prison, and Hun Hean and Cheang Son in Siam Reap provincial prison.
They were charged under Article 38 of the 1992 penal code and face up to seven years in prison if convicted, Ton Sihak Teches said.
Sum Chankea, Banteay Meanchey coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said the group was following the case to ensure “equality of all detainees and the legal process for them.”
Monday's indictments follow the November arrest of Pursat provincial prosecutor Chan Sereivuth, who was also charged under corruption in an ACU investigation.
Hun Hean is the former chief bodyguard for Interior Minister Sar Kheng, and Moek Dara is the former police chief of Battambang province, where Sar Kheng enjoys much political support.