Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ASEAN countries united in combating drug trafficking

ASEAN countries united in combating drug trafficking

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) secretary-general Meas Virith said countries in the Mekong region and China will jointly implement the “1511“ plan to combat regional drug trafficking. NACD

ASEAN countries united in combating drug trafficking

National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) secretary-general Meas Virith said drug trafficking is an organised crime in Southeast Asia and officials from ASEAN countries are committed to combating it.

He made the statement during the virtual 41st ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Drug Control on December 1. Chaired by Indonesia, the meeting was also attended by representatives from other ASEAN countries’ drug control institutions.

The meeting is a continuation of the 40th ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Drug Control that Cambodia hosted in 2019.

Virith told The Post on December 2 that the meeting discussed measures taken last year to jointly prevent cross-border drug trafficking, as well as jointly eliminating major drug ringleaders in each ASEAN country and the region.

He said that in order to efficiently combat drug syndicates, a decision from the meeting was to set up the “1511 plan”, which is to be jointly implemented by countries within the Mekong region – China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.

The plan is a strong message to drug syndicates, indicating the countries will be increasing efforts to monitor and eradicate drug trafficking activities in the region.

“Last year Cambodia presented an annual report on drug prevention and law enforcement when we hosted the meeting. We made many achievements related to drug control.

“This year, we decided to implement what we have discussed on seven points to submit to the ministers of those ASEAN countries and will continue to implement what we have agreed,” he said.

Virith said many issues were discussed further and various responsibilities were assigned to each ASEAN member states.

ASEAN countries will jointly implement various measures to address the issue including education, dissemination of information, relevant data collection and repression.

“Together, we will work to prevent the flow of drug trafficking via sea and by air. Then there will be prevention groups at the border and a specific drug inspection team at the post office,” he said.

On December 2, Good Neighbours Cambodia Programme Development Manager Sok Dou said based on his observation, the drug situation remained a pressing issue among Cambodians, especially the youth.

“The drug problem does not seem to be improving, in fact, drug use cases are increasing and spreading more into rural areas.”

Cambodia cannot combat the drug problem alone, it requires cooperation from all countries in the region, including Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, he said.

“The drug problem is a systemic and very complicated issue. Law enforcement should be strict and enforcement officers should not be afraid of drug ringleaders. If we cannot deal with the drug lord, any level of drug prevention education or outreach measures will never be enough to eradicate the problem,” he said.

Dou said all ASEAN countries should plan and implement an efficient drug prevention mechanism. He said many countries still have many drug users, which meant that the region still lacks a fully effective mechanism to combat the drug problem.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old