Saturday, 24.5.2008: Sar Kheng Said that the Government Does Not Dare to Arrest Drug Trafficking Chiefs

Posted on 24 May 2008. Filed under: Week 561 | Tags: |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 561

“This week Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng admitted that the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] government has not yet done anything noticeable over drug cases in Cambodia.

“He added, ‘The real chief has not been arrested yet, and drug trafficking chiefs still live freely. They are still acting freely and recreate their networks.’

“Over the course of time, the police had arrested some members of big drug networks in Cambodia, but there was no legal action taken to bring any drug trafficking chiefs to court; therefore drug trafficking and the production of drugs still continue and lead to the distribution and to the use of drug countrywide.

“When Mr. Sar Kheng said, ‘They know them, but they do not dare to arrest them,’ we do not know to which drug trafficking cases this refers, because previously, only small drug traffickers were arrested to be punished according to the law.

“The Minister of Interior Mr. Sar Kheng seems to take the opportunity to also criticize the ineffectiveness of the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP.

“He said that previously, only small drug traffickers had been arrested, but the drug trafficking chiefs have not been arrested, and therefore drug trafficking still exits, together with the creation of new networks.

“The Minister of Interior Mr. Sar Kheng did not explain the reason why his ministry, which is in charge to deal with these cases, does not fulfill its work efficiently to arrest the drug trafficking chiefs.

“However, the fact that the minister made this comment is assumed by other people as a sign that he probably knows who the drug-trafficking chiefs are on the national level, but the government does not dare to take action because of some issues which are kept secret.

“However, what the Deputy Prime Minister said is quite different from what the Prime Minister and CPP Vice President Mr. Hun Sen had said – Mr. Hun Sen has never dared to raise the problem of drug trafficking.

“The police of the government, with help from international anti-drug-trafficking agencies, has frequently found many big drug manufacturing sites and planting areas in Cambodia. On 1 April 2007, a big drug manufacturing site and nearly four tonnes of substances used for producing drugs were found at Traeng Trayueng Commune, Phnom Sruoch District, Kompong Speu, after having received information from international anti-drug-trafficking agencies from outside the country.

“The owners of the site, which pretended to be a cow farm, were the Chinese national Chea Chung and his partner Oknha Om Chhai, both of whom had close relations with senior officials in the government and in the National Assembly of Cambodia.

“Chea Chung used to be an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Nhek Bun Chhay, the Funcinpec secretary-general. According to many documents received from Funcinpec, Nhek Bun Chhay had appointed Chea Chung to hold high positions, like he had been appointed to work in the investment sector in the Nhek Bun Chhay group.

“Oknha Om Chhai was an advisor to the President of the National Assembly and Honorary President of the ruling CPP Mr. Heng Samrin. After his arrest and after he was brought to the anti-drug-trafficking section in the Ministry of Interior, carefully guarded by police, it was reported that Oknha Om Chhai had committed suicide by jumping from a window of the building. We do not know whether or not, what Mr. Sar Kheng said, ‘They know them, but they do not dare to arrest them,’ refers to the case of Chea Chung and Om Chhai, who have had relations with senior officials of this regime.

“Mr. Sar Kheng said, ‘The chiefs must be found,’ but we do not know whether these words are political words to agitate the public to restore the reputation of the ruling CPP, which is defamed by the Prime Minister Hun Sen who rules the country but lets corruption and land grabbing happen and does not arrest drug trafficking chiefs.

“It should be noted that the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the anti-drug-trafficking chief, Sar Kheng, had announced publicly, at the time when police arrested the people and collected many pieces of evidence in the form of equipment used for producing drugs in a farm in Kompong Speu, that – even if the drug trafficking chiefs are backed by officials of any rank – he will arrest them to be punished. After this announcement, the national and the international public, hating drugs which destroy our social fabric, were happy and waited carefully to see the actions that would be taken by Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng. However, so far, there was no action taken over this Kompong Speu big case, a fact that also the US ambassador to Cambodia observes.

“For a long time we did not see that the Deputy Prime Minister and anti-drug-trafficking chief takes actions and expresses his commitment; it is just recently that the Deputy Prime Minister, who is second in power after Prime Minister Hun Sen, stated that there is no noticeable action used to persecute drug trafficking chiefs. This announcement makes observers think that those who are behind the big drug trafficking chiefs may be higher in position than the Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3317, 24.5.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 24 May 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1649, 24.5.2008

  • In Svay Rieng, Transportation of Paddy Rice to Vietnam Still Continues

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #161, 24.5.2008

  • Association of Friends of Khmer Journalists Called on the Authorities to Release Three Journalists
  • [Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary-general] Mu Sochua: The Sam Rainsy Party Will Increase the Number of Woman Candidates to a Maximum; [Funcinpec new president] Keo Puth Rasmey: Funcinpec Has a Small Number of Woman Candidates, but They Are Very Qualified
  • Commune Councilors of the Cambodian People’s Party [from Phnom Sruoch District, Kompong Speu] Have Warned that Land Disputes Will Stop People to Vote for the Cambodian People’s Party

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #22, 24-27.5.2008

  • An Association for Helping Khmer Women Who Are Married in Foreign Countries Is to Be Created [Secretary of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs You Ay raised this in a meeting focused on human trafficking]
  • Khov Chily and Dac Lac Company Still Clear Land to Grab Minority Tribespeople’s Land [Mondolkiri]
    Phnom Penh Authorities Construct a Common Crematorium at a Phnom Penh Suburb [at Wat Prey Sar]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6353, 24-25.5.2008

  • Praying to the King of Bulls [in the Royal Ploughing Ceremony] for Good Agricultural Yields Showed a Good Omen: It Will Bring Good Yield of Corn, Pretty Good Yield of Paddy Rice, and Medium Yield of Beans
  • Regarding the Media for the Election, the Sam Rainsy Party Fears Three Fair Programs May Be Eliminated [the round table meeting and equity program of UNDP]
  • Nearly 200 Protesters from Battambang Walk towards Phnom Penh [to seek help from the government to solve land disputes]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3468, 24-25.5.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: The Government Is Extorting Money from Citizens through the Increase in Fuel Tax

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4597, 24.5.2008

  • Shortage of Medicines against Common Diseases and Discrimination from the Community Still Affect Those Who Have AIDS
  • Banteay Meanchey Governor Is Reshuffled [Mr. On Sum has replaced Mr. Ung Oeun, former Siem Reap deputy governor going to work in the Ministry of Interior]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3317, 24.5.2008

  • Sar Kheng Said that the Government Does Not Dare to Arrest Drug Trafficking Chiefs
  • Ms. Chea Ratha’s Visa Expired since 15 May 2008 [but she has not yet returned to Cambodia]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: How NOT to avoid critical reflection

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