Police detained and questioned 62 suspects, including a minor, following a drug raid in the capital’s Trapaing Chhuk village in Sen Sok district on Saturday.
According to Born Sam Ath, Phnom Penh deputy police commissioner, the raid was part of a crackdown on drug trafficking and related crime in the area, with police also seizing weapons and cash.
Urine-sampling by the authorities revealed that 54 of the suspects, including the 14-year-old, tested positive for substance use, particularly methamphetamine.
While several users were ordered to undertake rehab, others found to have broken the law will face legal action.
“The young boy and some users were sent back to their parents or guardians on the agreement they would go to a rehabilitation centre,” explained Sam Ath.
Fifty-three others were sent to the court as we found that they are also among a target group of gangsters, thieves and burglars.”
The round-up comes off the back of another mass-arrest in Trapaing Chhuk in August, when 88 suspects were detained for offences relating to drug use and distribution, with some now serving prison sentences.
Sam Ath said that the scale of the problem and associated “anarchy” in the district was incalculable, likening it to a continuous rainstorm.