Ten Suspects Jailed Over a Ton of Ketamine

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Illicit drugs confiscated by authorities (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Police confiscated more than a ton of ketamine and other drugs in one crackdown after 10 days of investigation, arresting 10 people.

Preah Sihanouk provincial military police said in a Facebook post Wednesday they finished a 10-day investigation into a drug trafficking and money laundering operation, sending seven foreigners and three Cambodians to court.  The investigation involved Preah Sihanouk and national authorities as well as military police and courts in Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Svay Rieng.

Authorities confiscated about 1,134 kg of ketamine, 2.5 kg of MDMA, more than 10 kg of chemical precursors and other trace drugs. Military police also confiscated $1,810, 5,270 Thai baht (about $150), 4,500 riels, eight cars, two motorbikes, some processing equipment, 14 mobile phones, an unspecified “game machine” and a Cambodian work permit.

The suspects include 6 Chinese nationals — Zhou Jing Bin, 43, Ye Lichi, 33, Wang Jian, 36, Li Peng Fei, 24, Liu Yang, 30, Zhao Bing Fei, 29 — one Taiwanese national, Cai Jian Fong, 29, and three Cambodians, Prem Reach, 31, Chan Ratana, 30, and Por Panha, 31.

Authorities have confiscated enormous stockpiles of drugs recently, including 900 kg in August and 12 tons of drugs and precursors from a Kampong Speu mango processing plant in May.  

Interior Minister Sar Kheng called these major busts a victory, as he described the recent drug operation during an inauguration of a Battambang high school last week.

“When we confiscate an amount like this, we praise that they have confiscated it and know where the warehouse has been hidden,” Sar Kheng said while smiling. “But we cannot find the people and cannot find people who bear responsibility and own it … but now brothers and sisters are working on it in order to find the ones who bear responsibility.”

He added that authorities are working with Interpol.

“Although you live anywhere, they will find you sooner or later, we need to work harder on this issue,” he said.

Thuch Panhchasantepheap, spokesperson for the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court prosecution, said prosecutors were questioning the suspects.

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