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

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from