Ke Kim Yan, the president of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), announced yesterday that police were giving officers rewards of $10,000 for drug busts netting more than a kilogram of contraband, noting that payouts had been made in three such cases already.
“Officials who net a kilogram of drugs get a reward worth $10,000, as part of the anti-drug campaign,” Kim Yan was quoted as saying by pro-government media outlet Fresh News, referencing an ongoing nationwide anti-drug campaign.
Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the NACD, confirmed the statement yesterday, saying the officers in question “have been taken care of”, and explaining that the authorities hoped the announcement would motivate other officers as well.
The reward is funded by the national budget as well as traffickers’ confiscated assets. “It doesn’t mean that they arrest them and collect their assets and keep for themselves. It is an award according to Article 97 of law on drugs,” Vyrith added.
The article in question allows for funds from seized assets to be deposited with the NACD, but does not explicitly say they can be used to pay for rewards.
Independent drug expert David Harding, however, said rewards were unlikely to help turn the tide in the government’s “war on drugs” that began in January. If officers need to be motivated by financial incentives, he said, “It implies that they’re not necessarily doing their job well.”