Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday burned a total of 51kg of drugs and 1,698g of addictive substances used to process narcotics after police in four provinces carried out a series of raids.

Minister of Justice Koeut Rith, Cheam Him, the head of the Preah Sihanouk provincial council and Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kouch Chamroeun attended the ceremony in commune 3 in Sihanoukville.

Preah Sihanouk provincial court prosecutor Seang Sok said at a press conference on Wednesday that drugs and addictive substances seriously affected the nervous system and health of its users.

“We burned exhibits to show the public about the drug activity and the work of the police. Some people wonder what happens when drugs are seized by police,” he said.

He said the drugs on display were involved in 81 cases from Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Koh Kong and Kep provinces.

Chamroeun said drug issues are global ones and transnational crimes posed risks to the people, families, communities and the nation.

He said efforts to combat drugs have developed and changed remarkably and the drugs control committee in Preah Sihanouk province has brought the issues under control in time.

Village, commune, district, town and provincial levels, he said, had set up mechanisms to stop drugs and made daily, weekly, monthly, and annual reports to the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD).

However, he said drugs coming from other provinces in the region and the world affected public security, order and health and that it is necessary to take serious measures to solve these challenges.

“We have developed strategies to control drugs in the province. We regard this issue as a priority and have prepared plans that include human and financial resources to ensure successful implementation,” Chamroeun said.

Rith said Cambodia used to be a transit point for drugs but has now become a place to produce and process it instead. He said drugs cause three main dangers – self-destruction, destruction of families and communities, and destruction of the nation.

“We have to take measures to combat drugs, starting with each individual. We have to say ‘no’ to drugs. Families and communities have to cooperate with police to stop drugs and save addicts.

“All law enforcement professionals have to carry out their work properly and seriously to [safeguard] the safety of our people,” he stressed.