Prime Minister Hun Manet commended the proactive efforts of law enforcement, relevant institutions and authorities in the ongoing fight against drug-related crimes, citing notable achievements. 

He made these remarks while presiding over the launch of the ninth campaign against drug crimes, spanning from January 1 to December 31, which officially began on January 11.

Between 2017 and 2023, the police implemented eight campaigns targeting drug crimes, successfully addressing more than 55,000 cases and apprehending in excess of 120,000 suspects. The seized items included approximately 28kg of addictive substances and around 520,000kg of precursors and related evidence. 

In a focused effort, law enforcement tackled 435 drug crimes involving organised groups, resulting in the arrest of close to 165 ringleaders and more than 800 accomplices, all of whom faced legal consequences.

Manet acknowledged positive results from the effort, but noted an ongoing challenge – the import of precursors disguised as substances for agricultural and industrial use. He said that addressing this challenge in a timely and effective manner is essential.

Recognising an increased risk of drug crimes globally and in Cambodia, the government initiated the 2024 drug crime campaign, prioritising the protection of national dignity and preventing individuals from falling victim to such crimes. The campaign underscores police efforts to enforce drug control laws and prevent the nation from becoming a hub for drug-related activities, safeguarding the country’s well-being.

To enhance public involvement, especially among the youth, the government has instructed the police to promote a collective effort against illegal drugs based on three key principles. 

The first principle advises against involvement in drug-related activities such as dealing, distributing, using or colluding with known drug dealers. 

The second principle urges non-interference with law enforcement, even if the individuals involved are family members, relatives or friends. 

The third principle emphasises the importance of not forgiving, maintaining a strict stance on enforcing laws against drug offenders.

The government stressed the uniform implementation of the “safe village-commune” policy by law enforcement for optimal results. Specifically, it underscored the importance of educating individuals at all levels, including students and workers, about the drug control law and the dangers of narcotics. This education aims to encourage a rejection of illicit substances of abuse and contribute to the elimination of the recreational drug market.

“We’ve set up a hotline to address issues when we receive complaints, information, comments or suggestions from the public about drug crimes,” stated the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD).

The NACD works to educate the public and collaborates with ministries, institutions and local authorities to raise awareness of drug dangers and encourage public participation. 

Additionally, the NACD is tasked with recognising individuals for their outstanding efforts in combating drug-related crimes. All police officers are required to strictly implement laws with honesty and professionalism, respecting and obeying the laws.