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Suspects Arrested in $500,000 ‘Largest Ever’ Cambodia Drug Bust


A Cambodian officer, right, pours fuel into some three tones of various drugs are seized in the nation wide of this country at the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, file photo.

One of those arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking was named as Sy Laloy, owner of the Ratanakkiri Hotel.

Two suspected drug traffickers have been arrested after about 50 kilograms of heroin, methamphetamine and other substances worth more than $500,000 were allegedly found at a location in Phnom Penh.

Meas Virith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said it was the largest single drug bust in Cambodian history.

“According to the market value ... the drugs are worth $500,000 to $700,000,” he said.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, authorities said the bust was part of a coordinated investigation in Sen Sok district.

One of those arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking was named as Sy Laloy, owner of the Ratanakkiri Hotel.

Mok Chito, head of the police’s anti-drugs unit, said most of the narcotics were thought to have originated in Laos with Cambodia serving as a transition country.

Mok Chi To, deputy general director National Police, at a news briefing.
Mok Chi To, deputy general director National Police, at a news briefing.

Chito said the suspects would be charged and appear in court in the near future, adding that police were analyzing the substances that had been confiscated.

“First, what composition is it? Second, what percentage of the drug haul is considered illegal? Because the drug law in Cambodia is based on quantity and purity of the drug; therefore, we ought to analyze the drugs first and send the report to court later.”

If found guilty, the suspects could face up to 30 years in prison.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Center for Development and Peace, congratulated police on the bust, which comes amid an official anti-drugs campaign launched in January.

“It is a golden opportunity to develop the nation and reduce the number of gangsters in the country. The authorities should try harder to combat the drug trafficking.”

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