The Siem Reap Provincial Court has placed two Military Police officers in pre-trial detention after their arrests on Saturday in connection with covering up drug trafficking and illegally detaining people.

Court spokesman Yin Sreang identified the suspects as Theav Chandara, 52, the director of the Siem Reap Provincial Anti-Drug Bureau and one of his aides Meam Nak, 28, who was also arrested and sent to court on April 30 for his involvement in drug trafficking. The two have been charges on various counts under the Criminal Code and the anti-drug law.

“The two suspects were remanded in custody by Investigating Judge Suon Surasy. Chandara was charged with criminal offences on four counts: concealment of clues under Article 532, failure by a public [law enforcement] official to press criminal charges under Article 528, and illegal detention under Article 253 – all under the Criminal Code. The fourth count is illegal possession of drugs under Article 40 of the Law on Drug Control.

“His accomplice Nak was charged on two counts: theft under Article 356 and failure by a public [law enforcement] official to bring criminal charges under Article 528 of the Criminal Code.” He added.

If found guilty, Chandara and Nak face several years in prison, and fines.

Sao Sokha, Deputy Commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and Commander of the National Military Police, said the arrest of the two Military Police officials came after an investigation discovered their involvement in drug crimes.

“As judicial officers working in the anti-drug bureau, they committed crimes while on duty and conspired with drug traffickers, so there is no question that they must face the full extent of the law,” he said.

According to Sokha, the RCAF has strictly enforced discipline on misconduct by any of its officers.

“For Military Police officers, we have a slogan. We should be like a compass which shows the way for the nation to work together. We must provide good examples for the people we protect, so they we are respected. Naturally, all crime must be suppressed.” He added