Authorities from four provinces, along with the Ministry of Justice, set more than 100 kilograms of drugs ablaze at the Preah Vihear provincial hall on Monday.
Meas Sam Oun, chief of Preah Vihear police’s anti-drug office, said yesterday the burned drugs likely had a street value of more than $1 million.
“We burned a total of 137 kilograms,” he said. “The drugs were seized during crackdowns according to warrants from the courts from previous years and this year, and from four provinces, including Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear,” he said.
“The burning ceremony was overseen by Ang Vong Vathana, the Minister of Justice, court prosecutors, governors and deputy governors of the four provinces,” he added.
The drugs destroyed included methamphetamine, marijuana, as well as cocaine. The majority was methamphetamine, in both powder and pill form, said Mr Oun.
The drugs burnt that were confiscated from Preah Vihear were seized during the first six months of the government’s anti-drug campaign that kicked off this year, Mr Oun added.
The National Authority for Combating Drugs said police cracked down in 4,331 cases and arrested 9,694 suspects in the first half of the campaign.
They also seized 119.657 kilos of heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, 13,635 kilos of dry marijuana and 140,361 marijuana plants, as well as confiscating 54 vehicles, 962 motorbikes, four guns, nine rifles, 2,953 phones and money.
Compared with the last six months of 2016, drug arrests in the first half of this year increased more than 130 percent.
“For Preah Vihear, we accounted for the court cases as part of the six-month campaign against drugs for the first six months of this year,” said Mr Oun. “In total, we arrested and sent 66 suspects to the court who were involved in cases that accounted for about 16 of the kilograms of drugs burnt.”
The drugs from the other three provinces were collected over the past few years, Mr Oun added, noting that most of the drugs were seized while being trafficked into the country through Stung Treng, Preah Vihear and Siem Reap.
Say Nora, spokesman for the Kampong Thom provincial court, could not give the exact figure of the drugs seized in his province that were burnt on Monday.
“The drugs came from cases and suspects caught a long time ago,” he said. “We only just now collected them all from the police and destroyed them.”