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Govt puts torch to seized drugs

Govt puts torch to seized drugs

PHNOM Penh Municipal authorities on Tuesday burned all drugs collected by police in seizures during 2008 at a ceremony held at My Chance Centre, a drug rehabilitation facility in the capital's Sen Sok district.

Following a speech from Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema, drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, yama and Ecstasy were set ablaze at an event attended by representatives from the police, the government and civil society groups.

According to figures from a report issued by the Phnom Penh First Court, authorities burned 761,061 grams of heroin, 479,319 grams of methamphetamine and 126 Ecstasy pills, among other drugs.

"Even though we have had a lot of success, we are still paying attention to the problem, and we will keep trying to eliminate it bit by bit," said Ean Sokhim, a board member of My Chance Centre.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 Cambodians are involved in illegal drug use, most of them between ages 15 and 35, said Ke Kim Yan, president of the National Anti-Drug Authority.

Mok Dara, secretary general of the authority, said the burning was planned both as a statement against drug use and "to answer those who have been suspicious" about what happens to drugs after they are seized.

"Today's event proves that officials have made a great effort in eliminating drug trafficking, drug dealing and drug use," Kep Chuktema said Thursday. "It also shows that illegal drugs are still a big concern for Cambodia."

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