National Military Police commander General Sao Sokha has designated a working group to have all Ratanakkiri provincial military police undergo a drug test in order to identify addicts.
According to a statement obtained yesterday, the working group consists of nine senior military police officers, who were appointed on June 9, to start implementing compulsory urine tests to identify drug users.
The working group is tasked to do urine tests for all military police officers in Ratanakkiri province, especially those who are suspected of drug use.
In any suspicious case, the working group has the right to summon provincial high-ranking military police officers to fulfil their investigation, the statement said.
“The working group can ask for help from relevant institutions and must make a report of the investigation once the operation is completed,” Gen Sokha said.
The move comes after rumours circulated that some military police officers in Ratanakiri province were involved in drug use and distribution.
National Military Police spokesman Brigadier General Eng Hy yesterday said the provincial military police officers who tested positive for drug use will be sacked from their positions.
“It’s important to verify and provide proof to the public when there is a rumour like this,” he said. “We must cut out any military police officer who used drugs in order to set a good example to citizens.”
Brig Gen Hy noted that the working group is also tasked to investigate and identify drug distributors in the military police force.
“If any military police officer is identified as a drug dealer, they will face punishment in accordance with the law. This is unacceptable,” he said.
Brig Gen Hy stressed that all military police officers across the country will soon undergo regular urine tests to ensure that they are clean.
Ratanakkiri military police commander Brigadier General Thav Yen yesterday said four military police officers were accused of using drugs, but noted that they are clean after having a urine test.
“It was an allegation against these four military police officers,” he said. “I have reported to Gen Sokha that they are clean. The working group will conduct further investigation and I will coordinate them.”
Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, said the working group must conduct their investigation with transparency.
“They must not tolerate or simply forgive any military police officer who tested positive for drug use, but punish them according to the law just like ordinary people,” he said.
In March, Interior Minister Sar Kheng ordered all police officers to carry out their tasks professionally.
Following Mr Kheng’s remark, Phnom Penh police chief Lieutenant General Sar Thet vowed to dismiss officers under his command who test positive for drug use.