Over 400 people were arrested at a Phnom Penh nightclub over the weekend, including Cambodian and foreign nationals, some of whom tested positive for illicit club drugs MDMA and ketamine, an anti-drug official said on Monday.
Secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, Meas Vyrith, said police seized illegal drugs at the Luxurious nightclub on Saturday.
“Police were questioning those detained at the Phnom Penh police headquarters to distinguish between drug users and distributors.
“About half of the people arrested were Cambodians, while the rest included Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Singaporean nationals.
About 100 people had so far tested negative for drugs, he said. They could be released following police questioning if they were not believed to have been involved in any crime,’’ Vyrith added.
He said the investigation was ongoing and he had not received information about the number of people who tested positive for drugs or the number of drugs confiscated at the venue.
Authorities told the Khmer Times however that almost 100 people had tested positive for drug use and about 100 patrons, mostly young people, were released from custody after testing negative.
“Police identified the owner as a Vietnamese national and said they were seeking an arrest warrant from a court,’’ the Times reported.
Vyrith said that the club had been closed for now.
The government launched an anti-drug campaign in January 2017 aiming to crack down on drug use and trafficking, citing a rise in the number of identified addicts.
Cambodia is considered a transit country for drug trafficking in the region.