Anti-drug police plan to destroy 500kg of narcotics on Friday at the Koh Pich Centre to mark World Drug Day.

Deputy National Police chief Mok Chito announced the plan on Wednesday. Ke Kim Yan, the head of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), will attend as the government’s representative.

The event will be small and there will only be about 200 participants because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

“This event is to show that we take drugs seriously. The NACD wants to send a message about the effects of drugs on individuals and society,” Chito said.

There have been 5,172 drug-related cases in the first six months of the year. Chito said many were major drug busts, especially at sites that produced and carried out the business.

However, he said most drugs are imported from Vietnam, China and Thailand while Lao cooperated closely with Cambodia and the trade has dried up.

The NACD has implemented many new measures to prevent trafficking and production. Cambodia also cooperates with neighbouring countries to stamp out drug-making sites and cross-border trafficking via waterways and air, he said.

“We conduct this event annually. Kampong Speu, Takeo and Kandal will join the NACD at Koh Pich while other provinces will celebrate in their regions.

“For example, Battambang, Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey will celebrate together while other provinces that are nearby can celebrate together too,” Chito said.

NGO Licadho monitoring head Am Sam Ath on Wednesday acknowledged the police work, but he encourages them to double the effort as drug offences continued.

“We know already that most prisoners are drug offenders. This is a problem, so we should find strategies to close production sites and trafficking areas that are the sources of drugs,” he said.

A report from the National Police drug department released on Wednesday said the police detained 10,213 people for drug offences in the first six months of the year.