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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New drug law to get tougher on traffickers

New drug law to get tougher on traffickers

THE National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) will submit for approval a new draft law targeting drug traffickers by month's end, Moek Dara, the authority's secretary general, told the Post Monday.

The NACD held final discussions of the law at a consultation workshop on Monday and Tuesday with officials from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, who have served as advisers during the drafting process. Workshop participants also included representatives from government agencies, donor countries and NGOs.

Under the proposed law, those caught in possession of 80 grams of heroin would receive life imprisonment. Currently, life terms are only handed down to those in possession of at least 100 grams.

Lars Pederson, officer in charge and project coordinator for the UNODC in Cambodia,  said during a speech at the workshop that the law would "uphold the distinction between illicit drug users on the one hand and dealers and traffickers on the other". He added that the specific provisions of the law were designed to discourage traffickers from bringing drugs into the Kingdom or setting up facilities to manufacture them.

Moek Dara said NACD officials would eagerly await decisions from the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly on whether to approve the law, adding that officials "need to use this law" to go after traffickers.

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