After a recent traffic accident led to the discovery of illegal drugs being transported on the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, deputy National Police chief of the Anti-Drug Department Mak Chito urged traffic police to remain alert for any more such cases.

Chito explained that the incident took place on September 4. As traffic officers approached a car which had been involved in a single-vehicle crash, they observed the occupants of the vehicle attempting to hide a package in bushes near the crash site.

Further examinations revealed that the package contained 5kg of illegal drugs. The driver of the vehicle and a woman passenger, who was identified as the owner of the package, were arrested.

Officers from the Kampong Speu and Preah Sihanouk Provincial Police, in collaboration with the Anti-Drug Department, carried out further investigations and determined that the drugs were being transported from Sihanoukville to Poipet. Following their enquiries, an additional three people were arrested and sent to court, although the mastermind behind the operation has yet to be identified.

Chito explained that drug searches are not carried out regularly on the expressway.

“As in other countries, the expressway does not feature a drug detection system. Currently, our camera surveillance systems only capture people as they purchase tickets and enter and exit the expressway. This means we have footage of vehicles and their number plates, as well as descriptions of the drivers,” he added.

Kampong Speu provincial police Chief Sam Samuon noted that the expressway is under the jurisdiction of the Traffic Police Department, rather than the Kampong Speu Provincial Police.

However, he said his forces were always prepared to cooperate with all law enforcement agencies to respond to any incidents or information which would lead to resolving any criminal case, including those involving drugs.