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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drug use in prisons probed

Drug use in prisons probed

The Anti-Corruption Unit is investigating reports of widespread drug use within Banteay Meanchey provincial prison, officials said on Sunday.

Uk Keo Rattanak, a spokesman for Banteay Meanchey provincial hall, said the ACU had begun a collaborative investigation with the provincial prosecutor after four of 15 inmates tested by police last week returned positive results for drug use.  

“It is the ACU’s secret work - they don’t let us know if they find it [drug trafficking]. It seems like they are trying not to hit the grass and frighten the snake because they have to do research to find those who are bringing drugs into the prison,” he said.

Inmates found to be both using and trafficking drugs, should be placed in solitary confinement, not sent to a drug treatment centre, he added.  

Chea Sothea, a prison investigator for the rights group Licadho, said that she believes that inmates dealing drugs within the prison had established powerful positions. “The use of drugs in the prison strongly affects [inmates wellbeing],” she said.  

Keo Remy, ACU spokesman, declined to comment and said the case remained under investigation.



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