Two briefly held in Koh Kong after pot patch discovered

Authorities haul away a load of marijuana seized from a home in Koh Kong province on Monday. Neak Meas
Authorities haul away a load of marijuana seized from a home in Koh Kong province on Monday. Neak Meas

Two men were arrested and temporarily detained on Monday in Koh Kong province after authorities discovered 34 marijuana plants being grown illegally in the gardens in front of their homes, police said yesterday.

Heng Leang, police chief in Koh Kong’s Khemarak Pumin town, identified the men as Chit Vanchhai, 37, who had grown nine plants, and Nou Liem, 52, who had grown 25. Both men were interrogated and “educated” at the police station, before being released after they agreed to sign a contract promising they would stop planting marijuana.

According to Leang, both men allegedly admitted they had planted the marijuana plants in flower pots at their homes, but maintained the plants were strictly to decorate their houses and for their families’ use as a foodstuff, for example, as an ingredient in chicken porridge. Traditionally, marijuana has been used as an ingredient in Cambodian cooking.

“We released them [on Monday] . . . after we educated them and ordered them to sign the contract to stop planting the marijuana,” Leang said.

“For the evidence, the 34 marijuana plants were seized and burned in the evening of the same day.”

The men live a few houses away from each other in Prek Svay village, in Koh Kong’s Stung Veng commune.