Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged relevant authorities to tighten the crackdown on drug trafficking and apprehend big fish amid continued drug trafficking.
In a directive issued yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said all relevant authorities are cooperating in cracking down on drugs but large-scale trafficking has continued to exist, with abuses spreading to rural areas.
“[They should] continue to tighten the crackdown on money laundering as a result of drug offences by strengthening regional and international cooperation, and preventing the importation and the use of chemical ingredients,” he said.
He said that all drug offences must be reported to relevant authorities and investigations must be conducted to trace networks.
Mr Hun Sen said that chemical ingredients must be confiscated to prevent them from getting to the criminals while law enforcement officials should be provided with more training and legal knowledge.
Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak said education on drug abuse was promoted while the masterminds of drug trafficking have been under probe.
“We will implement the plan according to the levels. We as authorities are educating the people and advising them not to use drugs. We are also investigating to make arrests of the masterminds of drug trafficking,” Gen Sopheak said.
General Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the General Secretariat of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), said Mr Hun Sen’s directive was to remind all national and sub-national anti-drug authorities to make greater efforts to stamp out drug trafficking and use.
Gen Vyrith said that as the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, some opportunists can produce drugs and distribute them in cities and provinces.
“Because Cambodia is facing the problem of COVID- 19 and the whole world is busy fighting the virus, bad people take this opportunity to smuggle drugs. So the government decided to release the directive”, Gen Vyrith said.
“I sincerely hope and am convinced that all relevant authorities of all levels will heed the Prime Minister’s directive,” he said.
According to the report from NACD, in the first ten months of this year, authorities cracked down on 8,585 cases of drug use and trafficking and apprehended 1,522 people, of which 255 were foreigners.
The Ministry of Interior reported yesterday at least 60 suspects were arrested for drug crimes across the country.