5 foreigners arrested in Cambodia for suspected drug trafficking, Latest World News - The New Paper

5 foreigners arrested in Cambodia for suspected drug trafficking

Five foreigners suspected of drug trafficking were arrested in Cambodia on Jan 22 during a drug bust that netted 1.51 tonnes of narcotics.

In a statement on Jan 24, the Cambodian Anti-Drug Department identified one of the suspects as a 59-year-old Singaporean.

But it issued a clarification the next day, saying the man was using an alias, and was actually a 62-year-old Chinese national.

The drugs – brought into the country from Laos – were believed to be heading to Taiwan.

The suspects – all men – were arrested during simultaneous raids in three places at 3.15am on Jan 22, the statement added.

The three spots were the Steung Hav International Port in Preah Sihanouk province in the south-west of Cambodia, an unmarked house in Sihanoukville, the capital of Preah Sihanouk province, and a residential address in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Of the five arrested, two others are Chinese nationals, while the remaining two are Taiwanese.

The Anti-Drug Department said it seized 980kg of ketamine and 532kg of methamphetamine, also known as Ice.

It also seized two fishing boats, a car and motorcycle, as well as nine mobile phones.

Cambodia is not viewed as part of the Golden Triangle – the region where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet – but the kingdom has become a “key transit” and production hub for the regional drug trade, according to a 2023 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Criminal syndicates, the report added, have set up bases elsewhere in the region as insurance, with Cambodia being one of the prime spots.

The Straits Times has contacted the UNODC for more information.