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New strategy unveiled in fight against drugs

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Phnom Penh police cracking down on traffic law violators during one of their many night controls. Police

New strategy unveiled in fight against drugs

The government has implemented a seven-point strategy in its fifth campaign to combat illegal drugs between January and December this year. The strategy comes in the wake of reports that drug trafficking has increased in the Kingdom.

The announcement on the anti-drug plan dated March 13 said that illegal production, trafficking and dealing in drugs in the region had increased, with the highest growth seen in drug imports along the borders, through airports and through the post.

“To resolve these issues, the government must take measures to prevent, stop, and crack down on drugs proactively. Given this context, the government has decided to introduce a new seven-point strategy in the fifth campaign,” it said.

The government said the campaign that was to be implemented would include education and dissemination of the law and the negative consequences of drugs on civilians, civil servants and the armed forces.

“The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) will encourage the private sector and donors to take part in supporting the national movement to combat the drugs and drug-related crimes.

“We will crack down on drug dealing and its use at clubs, secret locations and drugs-processing facilities and take tougher action to eliminate the market for trafficking drugs.

“The NACD has taken steps to crack down on drugs in the border areas along with neighbouring countries and speed up procedures to deal with exhibits and properties relating to the crime.

“It has seized items and property to hamper drug activity and is on the tail of drug lords and their contacts.

“Additionally, the NACD plans to expand community-based drug rehabilitation and treatment at targeted communes and has encouraged the construction of the national centre for voluntary treatment services.

“It has also continued to build makeshift centres for treatment and rehabilitation in the capital and provinces. The NACD has already set up mechanisms to monitor drug use, where data will be better used to inform the anti-drug plan,” the announcement said.

The measures were introduced after the government announced that the crackdown on drugs last year was more efficient than before and had reduced criminal offences such as theft, murder, rape cases and snatch thefts.

Last year saw a total of 9,806 drug cases completed – an increase of more than 22 per cent. A total of 20,490 suspects were detained – an increase of more than 24 per cent – and 750kg of drugs seized, an increase of nearly 34 per cent, compared to 2018.

The government noted that drugs and methamphetamine trafficking are now increasing in the golden triangle area in the Greater Mekong sub-region.

Last year, six countries in the Greater Mekong sub-region agreed to streamline law enforcement in a bid to crackdown on drug trafficking from the area.

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