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Neighbours step up drug fight

Neighbours step up drug fight

Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos will focus efforts to curb the trafficking, production and use of drugs and improving enforcement in areas along the borders of the three nations, officials said during the 10th annual Trilateral Ministerial Meeting on Drug Control Cooperation.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the conference in Phnom Penh, Ke Kim Yan, director of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said building a “wall” against the flow of drugs crossing the borders would be essential to combating drug use across all three countries.

He added that improved cooperation would be required to meet an ASEAN target to completely eliminate drug use.

“These three countries need more cooperation to achieve an ASEAN without drugs by 2015, even though we [have made] good achievements in the past,” he said.

Moek Dara, secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said efficient information sharing between the three nations was essential to “cracking down on all crimes connected with illegal production and smuggling”.

He said there were an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 drug users in Cambodia, including 1,119 now receiving treatment in one of 10 government rehabilitation centres.

More than 80 officials attended the opening day of the three-day meeting, with the Laos delegation led by Soubanh Srithirath, chairman of the Laos National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision, and the Vietnamese delegation led by Le The Tiem, deputy minister of Public Security and permanent member of the National Committee on AIDS, Drugs, Prostitution Control of Vietnam.

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