Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court charges trio in arms trafficking case

Court charges trio in arms trafficking case

The locked gates of  former CMAC official Ub Vireak's home in Battambang province, where he was arrested last week for alleged involvement in cross-border arms smuggling.
The locked gates of former CMAC official Ub Vireak's home in Battambang province, where he was arrested last week for alleged involvement in cross-border arms smuggling. Heng Chivoan

Court charges trio in arms trafficking case

Three men arrested for involvement in cross-border arms smuggling were yesterday charged with weapons trafficking, the prosecutor handling the case said.

Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court Deputy Prosecutor Sok Keobandith said the trio, arrested on Friday, were charged under Article 488 of the Cambodian Criminal Code, which covers the production or trafficking of weapons, explosives and ammunition and carries a possible prison term of between five and 10 years.

“We have charged three people . . . under Article 488 of the penal code this morning and handed the case to the investigating judge,” Keobandith said yesterday.

Banteay Meanchey Deputy Provincial Police Chief Sith Los said officers continued to search for four more suspects in case. The three people charged have been named by police as Ub Vireak, farmer Chim Lin and labourer Yim Savy.

However Vireak has been identified as Ap Leng Cheu by the head of the Cambodian Mine Action Clearance Centre, where the 48-year-old works to clear battlefield ordinance left over from the Kingdom’s decades of war.

Los has said Vireak obtained the weaponry in the course of his duties with CMAC, and police have alleged Lin and Savy helped send it to Thailand through Banteay Meanchey’s Malai district.

The arms – three mortar tubes and rounds – were discovered by Thai authorities upon arresting five men in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province a week ago. They were allegedly ordered by another suspect living near Thailand’s border with Myanmar who was arrested on Friday.

Vireak, the CMAC staffer, was stationed in Kampong Cham but arrested at his Battambang town home, a week after taking leave from his CMAC duties on July 15.

Yesterday the gate to his O’Char commune property, surrounded by a high metal fence, was locked, though the house’s door remained open and the lights on.

But neighbour Ros Chansok, 54, said after his arrest on Friday by about six policemen that Vireak’s wife had also left and not returned, asking her family to feed the couple’s two dogs.

She said she only knew her neighbour as “Mr CMAC”, and was “shocked” at his arrest.

“He was friendly. He would come and go to work and always lock the gate,” Chansok said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro