Khmer Times/Ven Rathavong Thursday, 12 January 2017 793 views

Meth-addicted monks defrocked

Two monks were defrocked yesterday after they were caught using drugs in a pagoda on Tuesday in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district.

According to a police report posted to the Facebook page of Kandal provincial police Major General Eav Chamroeun, Soeung Sophany, 16, and Khem Rany, 18, were arrested at Sampan pagoda after they were caught smoking a white powder believed to be crystal methamphetamine.

“The police arrested them and reported it to the pagoda chief. After the pagoda chief reported to the district cults office, both monks were defrocked,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Chamroeun added that police seized three small packages of the drug and the young monks later confessed to buying it from a man in Phnom Penh.

“After getting this information, the Koh Thom district police went to the pagoda to find other drug users,” he said.

Police then arrested Phon Marady, 26, and Hour Kimhorng, 25, both of whom are allegedly drug traffickers.

According to video footage from the police, Ms. Marady said she bought the drugs from a man named Lou in Phnom Penh with the intention of reselling it in her village. They spent between $5 and $7.50 for each package of crystal meth.

The monks confessed to being addicted to the drug and Maj. Gen. Chamroeun said police may not send the case to court because the men had already been defrocked and “educated” on the perils of drug use.

But before he can make that decision, he said he had to speak to the provincial court’s prosecutor.

More than 700 people have been arrested since the beginning of the year in a new crackdown on drug offenses in the kingdom.

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