Police on Wednesday busted what they believe to be an illegal soap-making operation, seizing 30 tons of illicit chemicals and arresting a Chinese national in Kandal province.
The chemicals, which were held in blue vats, were discovered at a warehouse belonging to a Chinese businessman in Sa’ang district’s Svay Ralum commune, according to Brigadier General Long Sreng, chief of the Interior Ministry’s economic police department.
Kandal provincial police inspect barrels containing 30 tons of illicit chemicals used in what police believe was a counterfeit soap-making operation. (In Song)

“These chemical substances are being used to make soap to sell in markets in the city, which we have spent more than 10 days investigating,” he said.
Police have in the past grappled with counterfeiting rings that produce illegal cosmetics and soap using chemicals that can cause rashes or other health problems.
Brig. Gen. Sreng declined to name the businessman who had been arrested, saying that the investigation was still in its early stages. But he said the company was both counterfeiting soap and operating illegally without a permit. Along with the vats of chemicals, police found boxes featuring fake brand logos in which they believe the counterfeit soap was sold.
“The company is illegally distributing, importing and exporting, and storing chemical substances,” he said.
“It is illegally running a business without a permit from the Industry Ministry. It means the company is an illegally run business without a permit. It has no permit at all.”
Brig. Gen. Sreng said at least three or four types of chemicals were found in the warehouse, but that police were not entirely sure what they were.
“Now my colleagues are doing lab tests on those chemical substances, which were both liquid and solid and imported from China and Vietnam, according to the Chinese man’s confession,” Brig. Gen. Sreng said, adding the suspect was being questioned by police and would soon be sent to court.
The raid was a joint effort between economic and commune police. In Song, deputy chief of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department, said officials there would also be assessing if the chemicals could be used to make drugs.
rith@cambodiadaily.com
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