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Siem Reap officials burn drug haul

Siem Reap province
Provincial authorities yesterday destroyed more than US$100,000 worth of illicit drugs seized over the past two years in Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey, officials said.

Non Sophanny, chief of the provincial anti-drug trafficking office, said that the haul burned by officials yesterday included 9,592 tablets of yama, or methamphetamine, 492 packages of crystal methamphetamine, three packages of heroin and two tablets of ecstacy.

“Most of the drugs were confiscated in Siem Reap,” Non Sophanny said.

He said it was likely that most of the methamphetamine had entered the province from Phnom Penh and by way of the Poipet border crossing from Thailand.

The seizures were the result of efforts to crack down on the sale and use of drugs in Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey, he said. These efforts have also seen 42 people arrested for alleged involvement in trafficking illegal drugs since the start of the year, he added.

According to surveys conducted in Siem Reap town, he said, 241 people there are addicted to or otherwise involved with drugs.

“We are transforming drugs from making victims to destruction,” he said.

“If they got into the hands of our youth, it would have been a health hazard for many people.”

Sok Leakena, deputy provincial governor of Siem Reap, said he welcomed the efforts of law enforcement officials to curb the spread of drugs in the area. “We hope drug smuggling will decrease in the future because of the crackdown,” he said.

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