Provincial and district military police forces in Stung Treng arrested a Laos man Monday afternoon for allegedly smuggling almost a kilogram of methamphetamine across the border into Cambodia.
Deputy Provincial Military Police Chief Duong Vicheth confirmed police officials arrested Thao Kham Muon, 50, in Siem Pang district’s Sre Sambor commune.
National Authority for Combating Drugs Secretary-General Meas Vyrith said that tackling drug trafficking through Stung Treng – a noted hotspot in the trade – would require more cooperation with Laos authorities.
“Stung Treng is close to Laos . . . Perpetrators can organise networks [for] transporting drugs from producing areas to users’ markets,” said Vyrith, pointing to the border province’s accessibility from the “Golden Triangle”, a notorious drug-producing region stretching across Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
Vyrith maintained that trafficking along the province’s borders had diminished this year, though he offered no statistics.
He also confirmed that a controversial nationwide drug crackdown, which began at the start of the year and has seen thousands of arrests, will continue for at least another six months.
Jeremy Douglas, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime regional representative, was sceptical that busts of smugglers like Kham Muon signified progress in the struggle against transnational drug trafficking.
“We are not hearing about major organised crime figures at all,” Douglas said.
“These groups are operating in three or four different countries at once and they are taking advantage of the fact that these countries are not communicating effectively,” he added.
“If they lose a kilo, that’s not a big deal.”