The deputy commissioner of the National Police yesterday warned anti-drug police officers not to collude with traffickers as the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug police department reported the arrest of more than 7,600 suspects in the last six months.
General Mok Chito made the statement during a meeting with senior anti-drug police officials at the National Police headquarters yesterday.
Gen Chito, who is also secretary-general of the National Authority for Combatting Drugs, said anti-drug laws must be enforced by police officers.
“Being anti-drug law enforcement officers makes it easy for you to get involved with drug crimes,” he said. “You need to be moral and professional in the implementation of your work.”
“Please do not collude or intervene to help drug offenders,” Gen Chito added. “Please don’t forgive – even if it’s a minor drug crime – because it could lead to the arrest of the big fish.”
Lieutenant General Loek Vannak, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug police department, said his department has cracked down on 3,676 cases and arrested 7,664 suspects, including 177 foreigners, during the first six months of the year.
He said anti-drug police confiscated 312 kilograms of various drugs and destroyed 41,435 marijuana plants.
According to a recent NACD report, last year the authorities cracked down on more than 8,000 cases and seized more than half a tonne of drugs.
In a report published last month, NACD noted that police 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 in Phnom Penh, as well as one nightclub in Siem Reap province, were raided recently, leading to dozens of arrests.
Last week, the Tourism Ministry called on all provincial tourism departments to work with anti-drug police to crack down on drug use and trafficking in nightclubs and KTV outlets.
Gen Chito said an order was made by Interior Minister Sar Kheng to eliminate drugs in nightclubs and KTVs.
Mr Kheng last month addressed critics who accused the government of not arresting powerful ringleaders.
“They said police arrested only small time criminals, and no ringleaders have been identified,” he said. “I just want to show a list of powerful people in the drug business that we detained. There are so many.”