Ministry: Evidence Bun Chhay Involved In Drug Trade

Police searched the home of embattled KNUP president Nhek Bun Chhay on Friday, as the Interior Ministry spokesman claimed there was hard evidence the former military commander had been involved in the illegal drug trade.

Mr. Bun Chhay, a former general for Funcinpec during the time it shared power with the ruling CPP in the 1990s, was questioned on Thursday and Friday over a 10-year-old drug case in which police seized 400 kg to 500 kg of a precursor to methamphetamine on a 20-hectare plot of land he reportedly owned.

A group of municipal police control the crowd outside the home of KNUP president Nhek Bun Chhay on Friday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said on Friday that there was clear evidence Mr. Bun Chhay, who remained under detention, was involved in drug trafficking.

“We have found everything. First, we can say he could have been involved in receiving benefits in the drug trade,” Mr. Sopheak said.

He “received thousands of dollars, and when the authorities started to make arrests, he also urged others to flee,” he added.

Phnom Penh police search inside the home of KNUP president Nhek Bun Chhay on Friday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Police entered his home around 4 p.m. yesterday and searched for around two hours, as a swarm of journalists gathered outside, before a black SUV exited.
Mr. Bun Chhay has faced increasing pressure from the government since he was caught in a telephone recording in June allegedly promising support for the opposition CNRP.

Since being stripped of his government adviser role—a position he received in 2013 despite the 2007 allegations of his involvement in the drug trade—members of his Khmer National United Party have been sacked from governmental jobs.

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