Ke Kim Yan, chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), called on relevant institutions to continue to improve the inspection process to prevent the importation of chemical substances prohibited by national or international law, especially precursor chemicals brought to Cambodia to produce drugs illegally.
Citing an example, Kim Yan said anti-drug police officers had recently cracked down on two major cases of drug manufacturing in Oral and Samrong Tong districts of Kampong Speu province where they seized tonnes of Ketamine and the chemicals used to make it.
“We must work together to continue strengthening the inspection work of chemical materials at related sites especially at factories and enterprises that are using these materials,” he said to the inter-ministerial officials, including NACD’s secretary-general, during a meeting last week.
Kim Yan also instructed them to make plans as soon as possible to highlight the important work of “white villages and communes” or “drug-free villages and communes” and to inspect suspected facilities involved in money laundering and sources of finance that are involved in major drug cases.
In addition, he urged them to strengthen the legal requirements and mechanisms surrounding the possession and use of certain chemicals by factories and enterprises.
Cambodia imported over 23,016 tonnes of chemicals in the first nine months of 2021, according to NACD’s report, including the illegal import of some precursor chemical substances frequently used to produce drugs by criminal networks.
Deputy National Police chief and NACD deputy secretary-general Mak Chito said in December 2021 that the chemicals confiscated in Kampong Speu were imported into the country in multiple separate shipments by the criminal network led by the ringleader identified as Ye Yan Shou.
Those chemicals were imported along with other materials permitted for use in various sectors of industry like within garment, construction, food and health enterprises.
“The drug producers do not import many tonnes of chemicals at one time,” he said.