A Belgian man was arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport at about 8pm on Wednesday while attempting to allegedly traffic more than a kilo of cocaine into the country from Brazil.
Loek Vannak, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department, said his forces cooperated with immigration police and airport officials to arrest David Noel Catry, 34, at the airport after more than one kilo of cocaine was found in his suitcase.
“We arrested him while he was picking up his suitcase in the airport,” said Mr Vannak.
Mr Vannak added the suspect had travelled from Brazil to Ethiopia, and then onto Thailand before taking a flight to Cambodia.
“We are continuing to crackdown on drug crimes,” Mr Vannak said.
In December, General Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said authorities have seen the number of arrests for drug-related offences skyrocket since the government’s crackdown on drug crimes started in January 2017.
“Since the campaign began, our police forces have tackled 8,094 cases related to drugs and arrested 17,747 people, including 7,851 drug users,” Gen Vyrith said.
They also confiscated around 173 kilograms of drugs including heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, in addition to 113 kilograms of marijuana. Authorities destroyed 275,815 marijuana plants.
“A total of 9,896 suspects have been detained for their involvement in drug trafficking throughout the country,” Gen Vyrith said.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng has promised $10,000 in rewards for police officers who seize one kilogram or more of illegal substances. He added the rewards are intended to encourage police and other officials to take action against drugs.