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General on weapons charge

General Mith Virak is arrested by military police at his home in Stung
Meanchey commune, in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, yesterday. Photo by: Sovan Philong
A BRIGADIER general was arrested by
military police in Phnom Penh yesterday for allegedly possessing
illegal weapons, a charge officials said was just one part of an
ongoing investigation against the officer.

Mith Virak, a
brigadier general at the Ministry of Defence, was apprehended yesterday
morning at his villa in Meanchey district’s Stung Meanchey commune.

Roughly a dozen military police surrounded the compound, where two Land Cruiser SUVs and two other cars were parked.

“He
was arrested for possessing illegal weapons, and those were
confiscated,” said Sao Sokha, commander of the national military
police. “He also has some more weapons that are not officially
registered.”

The case, Sao Sokha added, is “not only related to illegal weapons, but also other issues, so the investigation is ongoing”.

“He has more problems, so we are still working on his case,” Sao Sokha said.

Police
also confiscated one of Mith Virak’s Land Cruisers, which bore Royal
Cambodian Armed Forces licence plates. He was taken to national
military police headquarters for questioning following his
arrest, Sao Sokha said.

Meanchey
District Governor Kouch Chamroeun said local police had not been
involved in the investigation. A military police officer at the scene
who asked not to be named said other law enforcement
departments had not been informed of the investigation in order to preserve the integrity of the case against Mith Virak.

“If
we joined with other departments, information would leak out and there
would be intervention to help him,” the official said.

Four
handguns and an AK-47 rifle were confiscated at the scene yesterday,
the official said. He said Mith Virak was also involved in a land
dispute case, but declined to offer further details.

Ministry of
Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat could not be reached for comment
yesterday. Ros Chhorm, deputy secretary general of the defence
ministry, said he was unaware of the case and had never heard of Mith
Virak.

Phnom Penh Post
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Categories: Local News
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