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More than 4,000 drug busts this year

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Police with drug crime suspects and items seized from them. Fresh News

There were 4,381 drug crimes involving 8,682 suspects across the country from January to the end of July, police reported yesterday.

A report from the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug police said the crimes included 2,816 drug trafficking cases involving 5,070 suspects and 1,565 cases of drug use by 3,612 suspects.

It said police seized more than 307 kilos of crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine and marijuana, as well as 108 scales, 45 cars, 1,051 motorbikes, 2,821 mobile phones and 14 guns.

Deputy National Police chief General Mak Chito, in charge of anti-drug trafficking, said those arrested had been charged in court and were in prison pending their trials.

Anti-drug police hold a press conference after a drug bust. KT/Chor Sokunthea

“We successfully cracked down on a lot of drug trafficking cases, arrested many suspects and seized a lot of drugs,” he said. “Police will continue to crack down on such crimes.”

Gen Chito said that most of the drugs brought into Cambodia were from the golden triangle region along the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia in Stung Treng province. Other drugs were brought in on flights or by courier from South Africa.

He added that Cambodian police were cooperating well with their Asean counterparts to combat drug trafficking in the region.

The government launched an anti-drug campaign last year and officials claim it was a success.

In February, the National Authority for Combatting Drugs said that arrests rose by 84 percent last year when compared to 2016.

Police with a large haul of drugs from Stung Treng province. Fresh News

According to the NADC’s annual report for 2017, a total of 8,173 cases were recorded and in 2016 the number was only 4,246 cases.

In 2017, more than 296 kilos of illegal drugs were confiscated, including crystal methamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and heroin. Police arrested 17,795 suspects, while in 2016 only 9,933 were arrested. Ke Kimyan, chairman of NACD, said countries in the region were still struggling to control the flow of illegal drugs.

“The drugs that flow into Cambodia come by road, post and airports, but mostly come from the north-east across borders with neighbouring countries,” Mr Kimyan said.

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