A POLICE investigation has found 1,293 locations across Phnom Penh that were last year involved with the production, sale and use of illegal drugs.
Of the figure, the majority – 996 – were guesthouses, hotels and rental properties, and the remaining 297 karaoke parlours, nightclubs and bars geared towards foreign clientele.
The statistics were announced at a conference on Thursday outlining last year’s achievements by Phnom Penh police.
The website of the General Commissariat of National Police, using data from Phnom Penh Municipal Police’s drugs bureau, confirmed that 297 clubs, karaoke and expatriate targeted bars allowed the use of drugs or their distribution, in breach of their contract.
“In spite of the contract, the owners of some locations still conspire to provide a location for the sale, distribution and use of drugs."
"We recently raided some entertainment clubs, including Karaoke PRO, arresting eight people, and Rock Entertainment Centre, where more than 300 people arrested. This does not include other clubs that have the same problem,” the website said.
The website revealed that 45 locations were particularly active, and even used young children below the ages of 12 or 13 to sell drugs.
Phnom Penh police chief Sar Thet could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Choub Sok Chamreun, the executive director of NGO Khana, said drug use is difficult to combat as traffickers were resourceful.
“To help tackle the issue, all citizens must work together, and tip off authorities if they are suspicious so they can carry out raids.”
According to the police report, authorities last year cracked down on 2,024 cases involving illegal drugs, with 3,670 people sent to court.