Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police search out source of 500kg stash of ketamine

Police search out source of 500kg stash of ketamine

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
More than 460 kg of illegal drugs were discovered and seized on the evening of February 6 during naval patrols in Koh Rong Sanloem commune of Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Rong town. Police

Police search out source of 500kg stash of ketamine

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has instructed investigators to clearly identify the sources of drugs being trafficked to Cambodia in light of the recent case where nearly 500kg of ketamine was found on Koh Poulo Wai Island in Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Rong Samloem commune.

Speaking at the ministry on February 9, he said more work must be done with a focus on identifying the international sources of drugs being trafficked from abroad.

“Why study this more now? Because now we know that more and more drugs are being trafficked through Cambodia because we keep seizing more and more of them. A few days ago, [the navy] seized nearly 500kg of drugs hidden on Koh Poulo Wai in Preah Sihanouk province and handed them over to police,” he said.

Sar Kheng emphasised that the nearly 500kg of drugs were most likely not destined to be used in Cambodia. Rather, the offenders were probably trans-shipping them through Cambodia for distribution in nearby countries with larger populations such as Vietnam and Thailand.

While on routine patrol on February 6, the naval forces of the Front Line Maritime Security Command of the National Committee for Maritime Security (NCMS) discovered 465kg of drugs that had been stashed on the island, according to Tea Sokha, the deputy navy commander and commander of the NCMS.

Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), said: “With the nearly 500kg of ketamine the navy found, we are now examining it closely and looking at things like the methods used for packaging to see if this is possibly related to any cases we’ve encountered in the past.”

Vyrith added that rather than being dumped there, he believed the offenders had placed the drugs on the island to be retrieved later by others.

He also pointed out that last year the police had arrested more than 20,000 suspects in connection with drugs. They had also seized more than three tonnes of drugs and raids nationwide had increased by six per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director for rights group Licadho, said Sar Kheng’s remarks were merely a repeat of his previous instructions.

“The drug crackdowns of recent years have drawn criticism because they aren’t being carried out in a proper manner or in accordance with procedure in some cases. And they seem to mostly target poor users rather than the rich traffickers.

“No matter what rank or position someone holds, the law has to be enforced and applied equally,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports