Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng called for the continued suppression of all crimes that occur in Cambodia, noting that the Kingdom has recently become a victim of transnational crimes, including drug trafficking and illegal online gambling.

Sar Kheng made his remarks while presiding over the inauguration of the Police Academy of Cambodia’s new state-of the-art firearms training facility on October 19.

He said that in the current environment, the government – as well as the ministry – needed to display a strong will to combat fraud, extortion through technology, drug crimes, illegal gambling and transnational crime. It must also continue to support both Cambodians and foreigners who were affected by human trafficking.

He said the increase in these crimes has had a negative impact on Cambodian society, affecting national economic growth and risking a decline in Cambodia’s prestige on the international stage.

“I emphasise that Cambodia is being used as a place to commit transnational crimes, for example, those involving drugs. We are not a country that consumes the drugs which are imported, but it is becoming clear that we are being used as a manufacturing and distribution hub by international criminal organisations,” he added.

He noted that the perpetrators were importing chemicals and manufacturing drugs, which were then predominantly exported for sale in other countries.

“We need to show a strong commitment to preventing these crimes. Our society will face untold hardships if we do not focus on eliminating these problems from now on,” he added.

He stated that if allowed to remain unchecked, many of the citizens of the country will become addicts whose nervous systems will be destroyed. At the same time, public order will be affected, and a rise in burglary, robbery, murder, and other crimes will occur.

“This issue requires the support and participation of every member of our society, including the public and each civil servant. We are all stakeholders in Cambodian society and we need to work together to end this drug problem. This is something we are paying close attention to,” he said.