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Tuk-tuk driver charged with drug trafficking

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused confessed to selling drugs. Kampuchea Thmey

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a tuk-tuk driver over the trafficking of drugs in the city.

Captain Keo Sokheng, a police officer with the Municipal Anti-drug Department, identified the accused as Huy Sarath, a 39-year-old tuk-tuk driver living in Meanchey district’s Boeng Tumpon II commune.

Cap Sokheng said that Mr Sarath yesterday was charged with drug use and trafficking following his arrest on Monday. He is currently in pre-trial detention.

Cap Sokheng noted that Mr Sarath was previously suspected of drug trafficking in slum areas on the outskirts of the city before police caught him during a transaction on Monday.

At about 5.30pm that day, police caught Mr Sarath selling drugs to a group of people in Prek Takong village in Chak Angre Loeu commune. Cap Sokheng noted that upon seeing the police, Mr Sarath drove away in his tuk-tuk together with his customers.

Police surrounded Mr Sarath and arrested him immediately while the others managed to escape. Cap Sokheng added that after the arrest, police seized a total of five packages of crystal meth, one phone and one tuk-tuk from him.

“He was not afraid of the police. He stood on the road and openly sold drugs to users in Chak Angre Loeu commune,” Cap Sokheng said. “He was arrested with the evidence in his hands.”

He added that police also conducted a urine test, which came back positive for drug use.

Second Lieutenant Thoeun San, a police officer with Meanchey district police, said that Mr Sarath confessed to selling drugs in the city over the last five years.

Sec Lt San said the accused also confessed to buying the drugs from an unidentified man living in Tuol Kork district’s Boeng Kak II commune.

“He confessed that he made more money from selling drugs than from being a tuk-tuk driver,” Sec Lt San said. “He said he could make 40,000 riels [about $10] to 80,000 riels [about $20] per day from selling drugs.”

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