Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Border drug battle to get push in new year

Border drug battle to get push in new year

Border drug battle to get push in new year

Cambodian authorities have signalled their intent to prioritise cross-border trafficking, amid a planned boost in funding from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan met this week with regional UNODC representative Jeremy Douglas to discuss an array of issues, including stepping up efforts to stop drugs pouring across the Cambodia-Laos border.

Speaking to the Post on Wednesday after the meeting, Douglas said his agency was preparing to disburse some $2 million in funding across the region to beef up training of officers at regional border liaison offices and purchase equipment.

“The vast majority of drugs coming into this country are coming in through that border with Laos,” said Douglas, who met with several high-ranking government officials during this three-day visit.

“The volumes of drugs that [Cambodian authorities] said they seized was just under 2 tonnes, the vast majority up there.”

He said Cambodian authorities would recruit new officers to work within the border liaison offices (BLOs), a 15-year-old project that establishes offices to house members of different law enforcement agencies specifically to work together on border crime.

“[The Cambodian authorities] have agreed to expand the border liaison office structure and to invest in it,” Douglas said, saying resources would flow to the Kingdom’s borders with Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

“We will be investing in it, basically training on drug detection and interception and intelligence exchange between countries.”

The BLOs each have counterparts in neighbouring countries, allowing regional counterparts to combat transnational trafficking rings together.

Kim Yan was unavailable to comment yesterday. Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, also met with the UNODC representatives yesterday.

“With the ASEAN integration, the widening of the flow of capital and drug crimes will also increase,” Vyrith said.

“We need measures to prevent them, and the UNODC Asia and Pacific offices have asked Cambodia to cooperate and strengthen mechanisms to check for drugs at border crossings and containers.”

Cambodian officials and the UNODC also discussed creating a new centre for drug users to move them away from the prison system. The UN has long advocated for community-based treatment options.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara