Police hold more than 400 in drug bust at Cambodian nightclub

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) -  Cambodian police arrested 400 people, including 130 foreigners, early on Saturday morning after a raid on Daun Penh district's Luxurious nightclub.

Some 400 people, including around 130 foreigners, were arrested early
on Saturday morning after failing drug tests following a raid on the
Luxurious nightclub in the capital's Daun Penh district. Illicit
substances were also found.

Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief Sar Thet said the owner of the club had been identified by authorities and would be detained.

Just after midnight on Saturday morning, Phnom Penh Municipal Police
raided the Luxurious nightclub, located on Street 214 in Boeung Raing
commune. They seized drugs and detained more than 400 club-goers.

Authorities temporarily closed the club, taking those arrested to the
Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters. Half of those detained were
women, while more than a third were foreigners, mostly Chinese and
Vietnamese nationals, Thet said.

Thet, who is also deputy National Police chief, told The Post on
Sunday that authorities were educating the club-goers as to their
behaviour before releasing them.

He hailed his officers for the crackdown despite there not being a huge amount of drugs found.

“Law enforcement did well because many people have suffered from the
use of drugs. The types of drugs seized are yet to be identified. They
are being checked by specialists. The owner has been identified and we
are looking for him, but we cannot say when he will be arrested,” Thet
said.

This was the third largest drugs raid carried out on nightclubs in Phnom Penh during the first six months of the year.

In February, authorities raided the Rock Entertainment Centre,
detaining more than 300 people and seizing almost 50kg of drugs. The
raid saw Kith Theang, the club’s owner, arrested and sent to court on
charges of involvement with almost 50kg of illegal drugs.

The following month, the authorities raided the Miami Night Club,
holding 50 people and confiscating more than 10kg of illicit substances
and equipment for the production and taking of drugs.

The nightclub's owner, Sreng Vireak, and six members of staff were sent to court on illegal drugs charges.

Meas Sovann, director of the Drug Addict Relief Association of
Cambodia (Darac), told The Post on Sunday that such crackdowns would
lead to a reduction in drug use.

He hailed the action and called for regular raids on clubs nationwide
to target the drugs trade. He urged authorities to ensure ringleaders
are punished.

“If we had sustained actions like this, then places allowing the use
of drugs would decrease and people found using drugs could be sent to
rehabilitation centres for treatment."

“Those caught in connection with dealing in drugs and the owners of
places where they are consumed should be prosecuted by the courts
without exception,” he said.

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