Takeo provincial police are on the lookout for individuals who grew over 1,000 cannabis plants on six fields across Preah Bat Chonchum commune’s Chroy village, Kiri Vong district deputy police chief Hiem Srim said on Wednesday.
He said the hunt was instigated because suspects “would not stop planting cannabis around the radio tower in Chroy village, even after the crackdown”.
Earlier on Sunday, Srim noted, provincial and district police raided the fields – totalling at least 979sqm – and destroyed 1,398 marijuana plants, as well as one water storage, upon receiving reports from the villagers.
“The people who illegally grew those plants have escaped. I have no idea how many of them there were. A team of experts is currently investigating and searching for the suspects so that they could be punished accordingly,” he said.
In Savuth, the commune police chief, told The Post on Wednesday that he did not partake in the bust.
A 2018 report released by a committee tasked to combat illegal drugs showed that 16,139 people were detained in 7,979 illicit drug abuse and trafficking cases nationwide from January 1 to December 29 last year.
More than 533.82kg of non-cannabis drugs, 288 packages of drugs, 74.51kg of dried marijuana and 164,925 marijuana plants were also confiscated, it said.
The report added that 944 non-two-wheel vehicles, 2,230 motorbikes, 5,924 phones, 376 scales, 26 handguns and 13 rifles were confiscated.
The authorities, it said, had also requested to impound a plot of farmland, two land plots and two flats.