Takeo provincial authorities on Tuesday launched a crackdown on nearly 70 locations in Kirivong district where marijuana was being grown illegally.
Officials discovered more than 16,000 marijuana plants and 84 wells made to irrigate the crops.
Deputy district police chief Yang Dara said yesterday that about 70 coalition forces took part in the crackdown.
They found 69 locations where marijuana was being grown in Preah Bat Choantok commune’s Chroy village.
Police burned a total of 16,270 marijuana plants, while the 84 irrigation wells were found over an area of 5,075 square metres.
“Some of the marijuana had just been planted while some had already flowered,” Mr Dara said.
“The mountainous terrain makes it hard for the police to crackdown on marijuana growing. People continue to plant and dig irrigation wells.”
Mr Dara said some of those responsible for growing the plants have been identified by police and will be sent to court. Forces are attempting to track down a number of other perpetrators in order to bring them to justice.
“The perpetrators planted the crops as a group,” he said. “We have already found some of them and are looking for others, but we have not yet arrested them because we are waiting for the court to decide what to do.”
District police chief Yuk Sarath said officials burned 300,000 marijuana plants in Preah Bat Choantok commune last year.
He said police and local authorities had instructed people not to plant marijuana, but some continue to do so, transporting it for sale in Vietnam.