Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police chief drug edict

Police chief drug edict

Police chief drug edict

A controversal ultimatum was issued yesterday by national police chief Neth Savoeun, which imposed a one-month deadline for police officials to rigorously target drug trafficking and abuse or face punitive action.

Khieu Samon, acting director of the National Authority for Combating Drugs at the Ministry of Interior, said that Neth Savoeun issued the order threatening all municipal and provincial police chiefs.

The directive states that those who fail to comply with the government’s standards on combating drugs will be promptly removed from their positions, he said.

The ultimatum was aimed at hampering drug activity in order to provide safety, security, healthcare and social development for the country, he said.

“It will become a strategy that will measure our police [performance], as well as other related authorities in combating and cracking down on drug trafficking and drug abuses in their communities and provinces in the future,” he said.  “I hope that with the notice of this one-month ultimatum, all of our police officers will try their best and with their hard work and activities, we will be able to reduce the drug issue by the Millennium Development Goal [deadline] of 2015."

David Harding, a drug expert at the NGO Friends International, last night voiced concerns over the social implications that such an order could create.

“I can understand that the Cambodian government wants to exercise drug control, but to make quotas [dealing with] drug users is a process that interferes with a certain balance.

“There needs to be recognition of the health aspect related to drug use as well … there seems to be a lack of balance between health issues and national security,” he said yesterday.

“All [the ultimatum] is creating are increased arrest numbers for a period of respite where a small number of people are off the streets. If that is deemed a success then fine, but that’s certainly not what we view as a success.”

Pen Rath, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, encouraged the government’s initiative and said that his police force has been increasingly targeting drug trafficking and drug abusers in the capital this year.

“On behalf of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, I commit that I will try my best to combat all kinds of drug trafficking and drug abuse," he said.

Pen Rath added that since the beginning of this year until yesterday, a total of 167 cases of drug trafficking and drug abuse cases have been processed in Phnom Penh, in which more than 400 people were arrested and sent to court to face charges. Neth Savoeun was unavailable for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh