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Over four tonnes of illegal drugs confiscated in 2021

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Anti-drug police hold a press conference on combating drug production in Kampong Speu on December 14. Heng Chivoan

Over four tonnes of illegal drugs confiscated in 2021

Authorities confiscated more than four tonnes of illegal drugs of all variety and arrested more than 10,000 suspects including 362 foreigners last year, according to a report issued by the third commission of the anti-illegal drug campaign.

Anti-drug department deputy director In Song told The Post on January 2 that based on the report, the police investigated 6,242 drug cases and arrested 13,765 people, 802 of them women. The detainees included 362 foreigners of 13 different nationalities, 45 of them women.

The illegal drugs seized amounted to four tonnes and 435kg. That included 228.51 grammes of marijuana; 52,214 dried marijuana plants; and one tonne and 163 kg of unidentified chemical substances.

The police had also seized 124 cars and 1,647 motorcycles; 5,853 mobile phones; 336 sets of scales; 41 pistols and 42 rifles; and some cash. Nine bank accounts had their funds frozen with asset forfeiture procedures initiated against them in court.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director for rights group Licadho, said the figures on drug activity were concerning and demanded that the government spend more time and resources cracking down on those involved in the drug trade.

“Drugs destroy human resources. [The government] must crack down and curb the inflow of drugs from outside the country while disrupting the production and distribution of drugs inside the country with strict penalties to eliminate drug trafficking,” he said.

Meas Sovann, president of the Drug Addict Relief Association of Cambodia (DARAC), commended the authorities for clamping down on drug offenders and getting illegal drugs off of the street. He also urged the police to strictly enforce the law against offenders and search out drug dealing criminals who are the main sources of the problem.

“It’s important that when the police hit the right targets when arresting suspects. Mostly arresting drug users and low-level offenders won’t eliminate the drug problem in Cambodia. They need to arrest the traffickers who are behind the importation and production in order to achieve the best results,” he said.

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