National Police chief General Neth Savoeun has urged anti-economic crime police and anti-drug trafficking police to increase their capacity and reduce crimes under their purview while cooperating with regional and international police.
Speaking to senior police officials from the National Police’s anti-drug and anti-economic crime departments in Phnom Penh on Monday, Gen Savoeun said police from both departments must increase their capacity and serve the nation.
“You [anti-economic crime police] must work hard to crack down on the importing and selling of expired foods and medicines in order to protect people’s health,” he said, adding that tax revenue is hurt when goods are smuggled. “You need to prepare an action plan and implement important campaigns.”
“They [anti-economic crime police] need to strengthen discipline, their code of ethics and knowledge of state laws,” he added.
The Interior Ministry’s Counter Counterfeit Committee last month destroyed more than 70 tonnes of counterfeit goods, included 106 type of medicines, mineral water and 7,850 kilograms of fertilizer.
For anti-drug police, Gen Savoeun asked them to continue improving their work and also keep an eye out for drugs being smuggled through the post office.
The National Authority for Combatting Drugs recently said that a year-end report in 2018 showed a 12.5 percent increase in the amount of drugs seized by police.
The report noted that police confiscated 533 kilograms of drugs last year, up from 296 kilograms in 2017, despite a drop in the number of arrests, from 17,795 in 2017 to 16,232 last year.
“You need to be on high alert to stop drug imports thought air, via land and also the post office,” Gen Savoeun said. “We also need to reduce drug trafficking through administrative measures, such as dissemination and education, especially at target locations like KTVs and nightclubs.”
Gen Savoeun also said that police must cooperate with regional and international bodies to apprehend fugitives.
“We need to…expand our cooperation to exchange information with regional and international police in order to collect information and arrest masterminds,” he said.
Meach Sophanna, a ministry secretary of state and CCC chairman, said last month that counterfeit products continue to hit the market despite the work being done by police.
“Even though the authorities are working hard to crack down on counterfeit products, criminals continue to distribute them in the Kingdom,” he said. “This could be because the penalty for these crimes is still too low.”
Kin Phea, director-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, yesterday said police work must improve.
“The public is not happy because some of our law enforcement officials are not trustworthy,” he said. “We see they confiscate a lot of fake products, but those who are truly responsible remain at large.”