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

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and