Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government to create drug task force for airports

Government to create drug task force for airports

A Philippine national is arrested at the Siem Reap airport in 2016 after he allegedly attempted to smuggle cocaine in shampoo bottles. Stringer
A Philippine national is arrested at the Siem Reap airport in 2016 after he allegedly attempted to smuggle cocaine in shampoo bottles. Stringer

Government to create drug task force for airports

Cambodia’s anti-drug bureau wants to create a specialised task force to check for drugs at airports and ports.

At a meeting to discuss the idea yesterday, Meas Vyrith, secretary-general for the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said air and sea were the two most common pathways for drugs into the Kingdom.

According to Vyrith, a task force would allow law enforcement to better gather and share information with other countries in line with international agreements. “In other countries in the region, they all have these teams, but Cambodia is still checking and discussing this,” Vyrith said.

Drug checks at the airport are currently conducted by a combination of National Police and airport security.

Cambodia is in the midst of a drug crackdown that has stretched the limits of its prisons and drug treatment centres. According to the national drug authority, Cambodian authorities handled more than 8,100 drug cases last year – nearly double the year before.

San Chey, head of the NGO Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said law enforcement should focus more on land borders and ports, where drug monitoring has “not been trustworthy” due to lack of technical capability and carelessness.

The US, which announced on Tuesday that it would cut several aid programs to Cambodia in response to the ongoing political crackdown, said yesterday it would continue cooperating with the Kingdom on narcotics trafficking issues.

MOST VIEWED

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Senate to convene an extraordinary meeting to review the draft law that aims to put the Kingdom in a state of emergency after the bill reached the National Assembly (NA) on Friday. The draft law, which was approved

  • Temporarily laid-off workers to get just $70

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced changes in the allowances for temporarily laid-off garment workers from receiving 60 per cent of the minimum wage to a flat $70 because factories cannot pay, he said. Workers will also not be required to attend training courses after more than 100 factories

  • Tourists can now prolong their stay

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said tourists holding Visa T and arriving in the Kingdom after January 1 will be allowed to prolong their stay until they are able to return home. The decision comes as Cambodia and most countries take measures to

  • PM: Law likely next week

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to be approved after the Khmer New Year, though he said there is a slim chance of enforcement given the current