Between January 1 and Monday, police intervened in 3,079 drug-related crimes and arrested 6,146 people, including 87 foreigners of seven nationalities, said the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD).
The General Secretariat of the NACD said on Tuesday that the items seized in the drug offences included 16 cars, 657 motorcycles, 1,943 phones, 128 scales, three hand-guns and eight rifles.
NACD secretary-general Meas Vyrith told The Post on Monday that the authorities had made efforts to enforce the law on drug offences in line with the government’s fifth anti-drug campaign.
Among the more than 6,000 perpetrators, those involved in the crimes have been referred to prosecutors. “A small number have been sent for treatment and rehabilitation,” he said.
Vyrith said the NACD will continue to use the same measures, mechanisms and actions in the fight against illegal drugs.
While Covid-19 is spreading, Vyrith said he has not been able to predict whether the drug problem will improve or worsen. However, in terms of transport, he said tougher border restrictions could lead to a reduction in drug trafficking.
“The remaining drugs from before Covid-19 continue to be circulated,” Vyrith said.
The National Police website said that on Monday alone, the authorities arrested 35 suspects in 24 drug-related crimes nationwide.
From March 31 until April 2, Svay Rieng provincial authorities arrested three Vietnamese suspects for processing, storing and trafficking cross-border drugs. The authorities seized 1,495g of drugs, three vehicles, a motorbike, three mobile phones and two scales.
Rights group Adhoc’s Banteay Meanchey provincial coordinator Sum Chankea told The Post on Monday that he had seen the government focus on the drug issue, but perpetrators, drug traders, and smokers were still using drugs.
“So we are only arresting the drug users. Most of the prisoners are consumers, but the producers haven’t been arrested. It is difficult to prevent. In order not to have drugs, we need to find out who the producers are and what the big dealers are doing,” he said.