Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police report major drugs crackdown this year




Police report major drugs crackdown this year

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Officials conduct a drug burning ceremony on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich in June last year. Heng Chivoan

Police report major drugs crackdown this year

In the first four months of this year, authorities cracked down on 2,520 criminal cases involving drugs, confiscating more than 300kg of illegal substances and detaining 5,405 suspects. Of this number, 255 were female, a report by the General Commissariat of National Police revealed.

While hailing the measures against drugs, civil society groups voiced concerns that the ringleaders in such crimes were not being targeted.

The report states that in the first quarter of this year, authorities seized more than 333kg of illegal substances, with 598 small packages found, while 30kg of processed marijuana and 45,999 cannabis plants were confiscated.

Fifteen cars, 460 motorbikes, 1,420 mobile phones, 91 sets of weighing scales and two guns were also seized.

“There were 1,538 cases of dealing and possessing drugs from January 1 to April 30 of this year, while 2,936 suspects were detained, including 255 women."

“There were 968 cases of drug use, with 2,467 people detained, including 172 women. There were also 13 cases of planting marijuana, with two people detained, and one case of processing marijuana,” the National Police report says.

“I will continue to crack down on large-scale drug crimes and we will do much better this year. Indeed, after a campaign on the control of alcohol over the past week, I have observed that traffic accidents have decreased,” Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief Sar Thet said last week.

Hang Petou, the director of the Administrative Bureau of the Centre for Drug Addiction Rehabilitation and Treatment (DTA), said on Thursday that the number of drug offences had increased alarmingly over the first four months of the year.

He said he was worried that drugs were ruining the future of Cambodia’s youth, who were the foundations of the nation and the driving force of its development, with drug users being apprehended daily.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
In the first four months of this year, authorities cracked down on 2,520 criminal cases involving drugs. Heng Chivoan

“I am very concerned that compared with our generation, the use of drugs is skyrocketing. We support the crackdown on drugs, but the people being arrested are small-time."

“I urge the authorities to continue tackling the ringleaders because even though some have been arrested, there are still many more out there,” he said.

Meas Sovann, the director of the Drug Addict Relief Association of Cambodia, said he fully supported the crackdown on drug crimes and urged the authorities to continue targeting the ringleaders.

“I am very happy to have seen the authorities arrest major ringleaders and drug dealers. I will use the analogy that when we clean a house, we must do so from the top floor down, otherwise we are sitting fanning dust,” he said.

Soeung Sen Karuna, the spokesman for rights group Adhoc, agreed that authorities must focus on “powerful ringleaders” in the fight against drugs. He warned that raids on only low-level dealers and drug users missed the main targets.

“The main sources in the drugs trade have not yet been raided because they are powerful people, and this allows the problem to continue and worsen. The authorities should change their tactics to focus on the powerful ringleaders,” he said.

A National Authority for Combating Drugs report said that of the 16,139 people arrested last year for drug crime, 1,339 were female. It said 310 were foreigners from 24 countries, with 48 of them being women.

There were 5,033 cases involving trafficking, storage, processing and growing. In total, 9,049 people were arrested, 913 of whom were female. Drug use accounted for 4,946 cases, with 7,099 people arrested, of whom 4,260 were female.

MOST VIEWED

  • Man Covid-19 positive after Thailand trip

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday reported the third Covid-19 case in less than two weeks, bringing the total to 125. The man, a 26-year-old from Tbong Khmum province's Tbong Khmum district, arrived at the O'Beichoan border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province on Thursday. He is

  • Kingdom's GDP growth to narrow -1% to -2.9%, World Bank says

    The World Bank expects further recoil on Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to between minus one per cent and minus 2.9 per cent for 2020 as its main growth drivers – tourism, manufacturing exports and construction – take a beating due to Covid-19, its latest economic update

  • Vietnam: Tougher sentences for child abusers

    Several National Assembly (NA) deputies in Vietnam are calling for tougher penalties to be handed down to child abusers. They hope stricter punishments will act as a strong deterrent to prevent offenders committing further offences in the future. Extreme measures such as chemical castration were

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered