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NACD to boost efforts in tackling drugs at clubs

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Police arrest some 400 people, including around 130 foreigners, at the Luxurious nightclub in Phnom Penh on Saturday. Heng Chivoan

NACD to boost efforts in tackling drugs at clubs

A senior official of the national anti-drug authority has pledged to boost efforts to eliminate the use and distribution of illegal drugs of all kinds at entertainment venues throughout the Kingdom.

The pledge was made as drug use has become a main concern and has spread from urban centres to rural areas and followed a series of high-profile crackdowns on nightclubs known to be frequented by drug users and dealers.

Deputy chief of National Police Mok Chito, who is also deputy secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) said on Tuesday that in the near future the authority will lay out plans to eliminate drugs across the country.

“This year we are committed to eradicating all kinds of illegal drugs. We will strictly enforce the directive of [Interior Minister Sar Kheng],” he said.

During a conference in March, the authority announced that out of the 1,293 locations found to have produced and/or enabled drug use and trafficking, 297 were Karaoke clubs and bars frequented by foreigners.

Chito said the authority’s new drug elimination plan would be different from what it had before.

He pointed out that sub-national-level committees will be created to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ drug crackdown measures – from the provincial to the commune level.

“This is a joint responsibility, and as national specialised officials, we will support them with technical help and information collection."

“We must join hands to combat drug crimes, so everyone – citizens, monks, regardless of their political affiliation – [please] work together,” he said.

Chito said the authorities have been unable to completely stop the spread of drug use and dealing in rural areas because Cambodia has been exploited as a transit point to transport drugs from the Golden Triangle, a notorious drug hub bordering Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

He said most drugs are trafficked from Laos through land border corridors in Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Ratanakkiri provinces.

NACD secretary-general Meas Vyrith said in the first five months of this year, the authority seized more than 200kg of drugs.

He said the number of methamphetamine users has notably decreased while users of other types of drugs had volunteered to receive treatment at 441 health centres across the country.

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