The Ministry of Tourism has called on all provincial tourism departments to work together with anti-drug police to crack down on drug use and trafficking in nightclubs and KTV outlets.
Tourism Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak yesterday said all provincial directors are required to raise awareness and disseminate information on the dangers of drug crimes to the people in their respective provinces, including those that occur in nightclubs and KTV outlets.
He added that authorities must also immediately report to the police of any suspicious acts related to drug use and trafficking among tourists.
“The most important thing is participation. Officials in the tourism sector must join in to prevent and combat drug crimes,” Mr Sopheak said.
His statement comes following a ministry statement released on July 3, when Tith Chantha, a secretary of state with the Ministry of Tourism, noted that ringleaders and their associates continued to distribute drugs across the Kingdom despite intensified crackdowns in the capital over the past few months.
He also explained that Interior Minister Sar Kheng has ordered all relevant authorities to eliminate drug-related crimes in all nightclubs and KTV outlets by the end of this year.
“I would like to remind all provincial directors to pay close attention and prevent drug crimes in the tourism sector,” Mr Chantha said. “We must improve cooperation between related authorities in the sub-national levels and take our responsibilities seriously.”
Ngouv Sengkat, director of Siem Reap province’s tourism department, yesterday said he has invited all owners of nightclubs and KTV outlets in the province to attend a workshop next week on the prevention and eradication of drug crimes in their place of business.
“I will have them sign a contract to ensure that they will not allow anyone to use or distribute drugs in their nightclubs and KTV outlets,” Mr Sengkat said. “I have also assigned officials to go to the outlets to educate employees because we have recently learned that some employees were behind the drug deals.”
In a report released in June, the National Authority for Combatting Drugs noted that police have raided 3,741 nightclubs and KTV outlets, or 52 percent of the 7,113 nightclubs and KTV outlets across the Kingdom.
It added that three nightclubs and one KTV outlet in Phnom Penh, as well as one nightclub in Siem Reap province were raided recently, leading to dozens of arrests.
The report said police are now looking to arrest six more people suspected of being connected to drug distribution networks in nightclubs and KTV outlets.
NACD secretary-general General Meas Vyrith yesterday said police will continue to raid the remaining nightclubs and KTV outlets in search of drug use and distribution, and noted that some suspects are being identified.
“It takes months of investigation before we can decide to crack down on a nightclub or a KTV outlet because we want to look in detail about any networks and crackdown on the ringleaders,” Gen Vyrith.