Reporter buys drugs, gets arrested

An online reporter known as Khla Sar, or ‘White Tiger’, and his accomplice were charged with drug possession on Tuesday by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor, said court spokesman Kuch Kimlong.

Sen Sok district police detained them on Sunday night in the capital’s Teuk Thla commune after a small package of methamphetamine was found in Khla Sar’s possession.

According to an anonymous source at the district police, Khla Sar bought the drugs, handed them to an acquaintance, and took a picture of them.

Police patrolling the area witnessed this and immediately detained them, the source said.

“The two men were charged by a prosecutor and sent to an investigating judge,” Kimlong said. He declined to confirm the charges.

District police chief Hour Meng Vang said he didn’t know the real name of the reporter, just his online handle, Khla Sar.

“I do not know which media this reporter is from, I only know he is a reporter,” Meng Vang said.

Commune police chief Sok Sophal told The Post on Tuesday that authorities had been investigating Khla Sar before his detention, as he was on their radar as a suspicious figure.

The Ministry of Information’s Department of Information and Broadcasting director-general Phos Sovann confirmed he knew about the case, but said he didn’t know if Khla Sar had registered with the ministry.

On Tuesday morning, a woman who identified herself as Khla Sar’s wife gave an interview during a Facebook live stream hosted by someone named Prum San.

The woman said she has two children – a 12-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. Without Khla Sar’s income, she said there would be no one to support her family.

“Factories are suspended, my daughter needs to go to school and we live in a rented room. I’m asking the court, please lower my husband’s punishment,” she appealed.

During the live stream, another woman named Srey Oun claimed that she was Khla Sar’s landlord. She said Khla Sar’s family was very poor and they weren’t able to afford the room she rented to them.