The government has set its third anti-drug campaign from January 1 to December 31, 2018, according to a statement obtained yesterday.
According to the statement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 26, the campaign follows the success of previous campaigns to fight illegal drugs in a bid to protect the welfare of citizens and prevent problems caused by drug use.
It said Interior Minister Sar Kheng was appointed president of the campaign while Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, chairman of the National Authority for Combatting Drugs, was named vice president.
“We need to provide awards to units and individuals to recognize achievement in cracking down on drugs, and have measures to strictly implement the rules for all officials involved with drug crime,” the statement said.
“The National Authority for Combatting Drugs, the Interior Ministry and other ministries as well as units in Phnom Penh and all provinces must work responsibly and effectively.”
The government officially launched its second anti-drug campaign from July 1 to December 31, 2017 and said it was a success.
According to an annual report on February 5, authorities cracked down on 8,173 cases involving illegal drugs in 2017 compared with 4,246 the previous year, an increase of 92 percent.
Authorities seized more than 296 kilograms of illegal drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, heroin, and marijuana.
A total of 17,795 suspects were arrested last year, a 79 percent increase over the 9,933 arrested in 2016. In addition, authorities confiscated 88 vehicles, 2,246 motorbikes and about $51,000 in various currencies.
Foreigners involved in drug offences came from 24 different countries including Vietnam, China, France, Australia, Colombia, Nigeria, Russia, the US, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia, Taiwan and England.
Meanwhile, there was a 9.43 percent increase in the number of drug users receiving treatment at local community health centres, with 15,796 drug users receiving treatment last year compared with 11,601 in 2016.