The Ministry of Interior’s National Authority for Combating Drugs secretary-general Meas Virith said the police cracked down on 7,670 cases of drug crimes, detained 16,236 people and seized 447kg of various narcotics during a 286-day operation.
Virith told The Post on Monday that from January 1 to October 13 this year, there were 4,592 cases of trafficking, possessing, processing, distributing, and cultivating drugs.
“Among these cases, 8,776 drug dealers were detained and there were 3,084 cases of drug use where 7,461 people were detained and 447kg of drugs seized.
“The 447kg is an increase of 10 per cent compared to the amount recorded in the same period last year,” he said. Among the total of 16,236 people detained were 1,104 women and 334 foreigners from 12 nationalities.
Additionally, the police also seized 55 vehicles, 2,006 motorcycles, 5,312 mobile phones, 292 scales, six pistols, nine rifles, a plot of land and an apartment unit, Virith said.
“We have done a lot of work in combating drug offences, including a campaign to catch offenders and seize and freeze their properties.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said at a boat racing and Water Festival event in Battambang on Sunday that many drug dealers across the country were detained within the last two years.
He urged the public to report drug offences and work with the police in combating the menace. “There is a sign of drugs arriving in certain rural areas. So, I would like to call on the public to kindly cooperate with the police. Citizens’ support and tip-offs are important to combat drugs,” he said.
Sar Kheng also warned the police and judicial officials not to protect drug offenders, intervene in cases or collude with drug traffickers. He said that they must not relent but put in as much effort as possible to fight drug crimes.
Drug Addict Relief Association of Cambodia (Darac) president Meas Sovann welcomed efforts by the authorities to prevent and crack down on drug offences.
“The authorities have carried out law enforcement consistently. Drug offences will decrease in time, but there are still some deficiencies. We must pay attention to entertainment outlets such as night clubs and light industrial areas. If we fail to do so, drug offences will increase again.
“If we log forests and we don’t take care of them, it will grow again. But if we cut it down and we take care of it, it will not grow again easily,” he said, using an analogy.