Three Sent to Court for Alleged Cross-Border Weapons Trafficking

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Border patrol officers find weapons in Battambang’s Kamrieng district in October 2021. (National Police)

Military police stopped three people from carrying arms across the border and have sent them to the Battambang Provincial Court, an official said.

So Dy, director of the Battambang provincial military police’s judicial department, said the three suspects were arrested on Monday in a rice field in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district.

“They are accused of arms trafficking and producing illegal weapons,” he said on Wednesday, adding that the three had confessed under questioning.

The joint operation between the Banteay Meanchey and Battambang military police led to the seizure of evidence at the site, Dy said. Authorities were searching for other suspects, he said, adding that the three arrested suspects were civilians.

Battambang provincial prosecutor Duong Saran could not be reached on Wednesday.

Local news website Deum Ampil reported that the seizures included 50 grenades, 1,000 AK-47 bullets, two pistols and five explosives.

It also named the suspects as Sambath Srey Lin, 31, Thorn Meng Kong, 19, and a 17-year-old who all live in the Mongkol Borei district’s Russei Krork commune.

Kong Chit, Battambang provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, said the case raised questions about the control of arms in the country.

A previous case of arms smuggling was linked by some immigration officials to a private road through tycoon Ly Yong Phat’s resort at the Thai border in Koh Kong province.

National military police commander Sao Sokha on Thursday referred questions to spokesperson Eng Hy, who could not be reached.

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