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Interior Ministry to focus on busting more small-scale drug dealers

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Interior Minister Sar Kheng presides over the destruction of illegal drugs. KT/Siv Channa

The Interior Ministry plans to focus on more small-scale drug dealers following success in curbing large-scale distribution at entertainment clubs.

Speaking during an event in the capital to commemorate the 14th anniversary of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday noted that Cambodia’s anti-drug trafficking campaign is succeeding.

“We have had huge success in our anti-drug trafficking campaign,” he said. “We have cracked down on large-scale drug distribution through entertainment clubs in the capital.”

Mr Kheng noted that ever since the ministry set its target to eliminate drug distribution at entertainment clubs by the end of this year, traffickers are increasingly scared to sell or stock up large amounts of drugs at outlets such as KTVs.

“We have seized about one tonne of drugs since we set the target in 2017,” he said, adding that most of the drugs were being sent abroad via the Cambodian-Laos border, through the post or on flights.

Mr Kheng noted the majority of drugs are sent to Vietnam, Thailand or other countries while some were being distributed to supply users in Phnom Penh and rural areas.

“We can say that we have made major strides [in the drug war] but we aren’t entirely successful,” he said, noting that small packages of drugs are still being distributed in the capital.

Mr Kheng said that reports show that the distribution of small packages of drugs still takes place in Phnom Penh.

“When there are small packages it means that there are large packages being hidden somewhere,” he noted. “This is why we have to continue tackling the drug trafficking issue by cracking down on small-scale distribution in order to find out where the drugs were produced and stored.”

Lieutenant General Sar Thet, Phnom Penh police chief, yesterday said small-scale distribution remains a problem.

“Small-scale drug distribution still happens so our police officers are continuing efforts to stop this,” he said. “This year, municipal police cracked down on three entertainment clubs which stocked and distributed drugs.”

Meanwhile, Kampot Provincial Court has transferred a drug trafficking case involving 100 kilogrammes of crystal meth, seized last month, to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for further action.

Ith Sothea, chief provincial court prosecutor, yesterday said that the case was transferred on November 7.

“The court decided to transfer this case to Phnom Penh Municipal Court to conduct more investigations because most of the suspects were from the capital,” he said.

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