A 59-year-old former drug trafficker-turned-spy was tried by Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for allegedly trafficking nearly 200 grams of crystal methamphetamine in Dangkor district.
Presiding Judge Heng Kessaro identified the accused as Heak Dara, the owner of a beauty salon in Russey Keo district’s Russey Keo commune.
He said Mr Dara was charged with drug trafficking, adding he was previously convicted of drug trafficking in 2010 by Kratie Provincial Court but was released in 2011 after serving 18 months in prison.
At about 3pm on September 9 last year, according to the judge, police from the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Drug Department raided Mr Dara’s rental house after police followed him and found he was still selling drugs.
Judge Kessaro said the accused had been recruited by the Interior Ministry to be a spy for the Anti-Drug Department as he was familiar with those in the trade.
“He worked as a spy for police and worked closely with drug ringleaders in order to report them to the police,” Judge Kessaro said.
“But after he was accepted by the Anti-Drug Department in the Interior Ministry as a spy, he never reported the activities of drug traffickers to police,” he added. “He committed drug trafficking himself.”
The judge said Mr Dara was arrested following the raid, in which police seized two packages of crystal methamphetamine weighing 196.36 grams, two drug scales, and other drug-related materials.
During yesterday’s trial, the accused denied the allegations. He said the drugs seized belonged to man named Thy, who remains at large.
Mr Dara said that a day before police raided his beauty salon, which was also his home, Mr Thy came to get a haircut at his shop and accidentally left the package of drugs.
“The packages of drugs seized from my house did not belong to me. They belonged to Thy, who has been at large.
He forgot them at my shop,” he told the court. “I did not know that they were drugs. I only knew after I was arrested and police showed them to me.”
The accused added he was innocent and requested the court to release him.
A verdict is due on May 30.