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21 Nabbed in Election-Day Drug Bust

Police arrested 18 Cambodians, three Taiwanese and one Thai on drug trafficking charges in Kampong Speu province Sunday, officials said.

Kampong Speu Police Chief Keo Pisei said three tons of drugs from two sites were confiscated.

Maj. Gen. Meuk Dara, deputy director for the National Authority for Combating Drugs, declined to name suspects but confirmed the arrests, which came as most Cambodians were preoccupied with nationwide commune elections.

"The offenders thought it was a day when the people, the civil servants and the authorities in charge went to the polls," Meuk Dara said. "So they used that day to produce drugs. But we knew about this case beforehand, and we took measures to crack down. We are busy on Election Day, but we can crack down."

Authorities said one of the men arrested was an adviser to Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhek Bun Chhay, but he was not available for comment.