Interior Ministry police on Wednesday arrested a Chinese national and a Thai woman following an exchange of gunfire during an anti- drug raid in the capital’s Chamkar Mon district.
In another case, military police arrested 29 Chinese nationals, including two women, for allegedly confining three countrymen for ransom in Daun Penh district also on Wednesday
In the first case, General Mok Chito, Deputy National Police Chief in charge of the drugs crackdown, told Khmer Times yesterday that another Thai man, who is at large, had fired shots at police during the anti-drug raid.
He said that on Wednesday, police from the ministry’s Anti-Drug Department, led by a Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor, raided the unit which was rented by the three foreigners in Koh Pich area of the capital’s Chamkar Mon district.
“During the raid, when our police forces pushed open the unit’s door, the Thai man, fired about seven shots at them and they returned fire,” Gen Chito said. “Fortunately, no one was hit in the exchange of gunfire.”
“After our forces returned fire, the Thai man threw his gun on the floor and jumped from the balcony onto the roof of a nearby house and fled,” he added.
Gen Chito said that the raid was made after the three suspects had sold drugs to an undercover police officer who posed as a drug dealer.
He said police seized nine packages of ketamine weighing more than one kilogramme, one pistol, some drug-producing materials and drug-processing equipment from the rental unit.
“During the raid, the suspects had flushed some drugs down the toilet in order to destroy evidence, and police seized the remainder,” Gen Chito said.
He said according to police investigation, the three suspects were distributors who sold drugs to foreigners in Phnom Penh. They smuggled drugs through the Cambodian-Lao border in Stung Treng province.
Gen Chito said that suspects also processed drugs in Phnom Penh for sale to users in neighbouring countries or abroad.
“Police now are still hunting the suspect who fled as well as other gang members,” he said.
Gen Chito said the suspects are accused of “drug possession, drug trafficking and production” under Articles 39 and 40 of the Law on Drug Control and also “unauthorised holding of a weapon” under Article 490 of the Criminal Code. They each face up to a life sentence if convicted.
He added that the two suspects are still being questioned at the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Drug Department and will be sent to the municipal court today.
Gen Chito did not release their names because police are still working on the case.
In another case, military police in the capital’s Daun Pehn district on Wednesday arrested 26 Chinese men and three Chinese women who allegedly confined three of their countrymen for ransom in the capital.
District military police deputy commander Lieutenant Colonel Mao Kimheng said yesterday the suspects, whose names had not been disclosed, were gangsters from China who were hiding in Phnom Penh.
He said that on August 8, the group confined the three unnamed victims in a hotel room in an attempt to extort around $100,000 from their families in exchange for their release.
The suspects were arrested at around 12.30pm on Wednesday after military police forces – led by the deputy prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipal Court – raided the hotel in Daun Penh district, Lt Col Kimheng said.
The arrests were made after a friend of one the victims alerted police on Monday, he added.
“After their arrest, police rescued the three victims from the hotel,” Lt Col Kimheng said. “Military police seized three pairs of handcuffs, six electric flashlights, 27 phones and other items from them.”
He said the victims have been reunited with their families.
Brigadier General Pou Davy, Phnom Penh municipal military police deputy commander, said the 29 suspect are still being questioned at the municipal military police headquarters.
He said they are accused of “arrest, detention and unlawful confinement” under Article 253 of the Criminal Code.