BANKING and gambling will face tougher scrutiny if a draft anti-drug trafficking
law is adopted by the National Assembly.
The Law on Narcotic Drugs, now being considered by the Assembly's Committee on Legislation,
will require gamblers to provide identification, and the registration of large purchases
of "chips and coins".
It also proposes to tighten banking procedures, including more rigorous recording
of currency movements in and out of Cambodia.
The draft law grants wide powers to police, including the power to search and detain
drug suspects for 48 hours without charge - or longer with a judge's permission -
the power to tap telephones, and search vehicles and premises.
Human Rights groups have expressed some concern about the potential for abuse of
the law, but stressed they had not yet properly examined it.
In addition to clamping down on cash transactions involved with drug trade, the legislation
also outlaws cultivation of the opium poppy, cocoa bush and cannabis, imposing fines
of between 100,000 and 1.5 million riel.
Drug traffickers will face penalties of between ten million and fifty million riels
and between ten and 20 years in prison, and State confiscation of property and money
thought to have been obtained through the proceeds of drug trafficking.