Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister: Check imports used in narcotics making

Minister: Check imports used in narcotics making

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Interior minister Sar Kheng speaks at a border police function on the large quantities of illegal drugs precursor chemicals seized by the police recently. INTERIOR MINISTRY

Minister: Check imports used in narcotics making

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has requested that all ministries with the right to grant import licences for the importation of goods, and especially synthetic chemicals, work closely with the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) to prevent criminals using Cambodia as a location for the manufacture of illegal drugs.

Speaking at the handover ceremony of 19 Ford pickup trucks to the border police on January 25, Sar Kheng said drug problems are causing serious social insecurities in the Kingdom that cannot be overlooked.

Authorities, he noted, have recently seized hundreds of kilogrammes of drugs, and more than 100 tonnes of synthetic chemicals that had been imported from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam with legal licences.

“More than one tonne of drugs smuggled from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam was seized, but more than 100 tonnes of synthetic chemicals were imported with legal licences,” he stressed.

With the synthetic chemicals being imported and turned into drugs, Sar Kheng asked, “Who is responsible for allowing the import?”

He said many high-ranking officials had signed letters authorising the import of synthetic chemicals that eventually were used for drug processing and production. He compared it to a car thief importing stolen wheels, engines and bodies, and then assembling cars.

Without naming the ministries responsible, Sar Kheng urged their minister to monitor the situation and work closely with the NACD. He suggested that they share intelligence to better work towards the prevention and suppression of drug manufacturing.

“Whosoever is in charge of this work, please help to monitor this matter. Otherwise, you will be responsible for a decline in public health and the socio-economic destruction of the nation,” he said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Sar Kheng instructed NACD to prepare a list of synthetic chemicals that could be potential ingredients in the manufacture of illegal drugs and ensure that all relevant ministries were given a copy, so that they highlight those who sought to import them.

Ministries and institutions that licensed the import of any such chemicals would have to provide a detailed report to the NACD. The report would explain the purpose of any company that brought such chemicals and demonstrate that its use of chemicals was legitimate, he said.

“Our ministries are not separate states – we are a single state and must share information with each other,” he added.

The minister added that of the current 38,000 detainees nationwide, 54.52 per cent concerned the drug trade.

He encouraged relevant authorities to continue their excellent work maintaining safety and social order across the nation.

Seng Youan, director-general of the ministry’s General Department of Logistics and Finance, said that 264 vehicles had been delivered to police units nationwide since 2019, of which 231 were Ford Rangers.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment