Officers from four units tasked with preventing drug crimes yesterday received cash bonuses worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government.
According to a report from the Interior Ministry, officers from the Anti-Drugs Department with the National Police, the Cross-Border Investigating Team, Anti-Drug Bureau with Phnom Penh Municipal Police and the Phnom Penh Military Police received $291,564 in bonuses.
The report added that authorities are set to sell two properties seized during raids that were being used by drug ringleaders, worth about $1 million. A portion of the money from the sale will be used to build a drug rehabilitation centre in Preah Sihanouk province, while the remaining amount will go to law enforcement officers.
General Meas Vyrith, secretary-general at the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said more bonues are set to be doled out.
“The money was given to units to improve their crackdown operation methods,” Gen Vyrith said. “The remaining amount can be divided to individual officers.”
“The bonuses were given as part of the second phase,” he added. “The third phase has yet to be determined.”
Mr Vyrith said that the bonuses are normally approved by high-ranking officials to encourage lower-ranking officers to work toward a goal.
“The bonus is decided by the Prime Minister and the Interior Ministry in order to encourage officers to work harder to fight against drugs,” he said.
Eng Hy, spokesman for the military police, said that his officers who worked on 15 cases received $40,438 in bonuses.
“We work in accordance to our duties,” he said.
The bonus came after Interior Minister Sar Kheng in March last year promised $10,000 to officers who could seize at least one kilogram of illegal drugs.