Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has encouraged authorities to educate people on the dangers of drug use and the harms to society caused by drug and to report anything involving illegal drugs to the authorities.

He made the remarks as he attended the inauguration of a Buddhist temple and other achievements at Wat Melup in Roka commune in Prey Veng province’s Pea Reang district on March 14.

The interior minister also urged all police officers to strictly obey laws and be honest with their professions. He explained the three principles of don’ts, saying that the first principle is don’t get involved: Don’t deal drugs, don’t distribute drugs, don’t use drugs and don’t collude with drug dealers.

The second principle was don’t intervene: Don’t prevent enforcement of the law against drug criminals even if they are family members, relatives or friends.

The third principle was don’t forgive: Don’t relent in enforcing the law against drug criminals. All police officers have to strictly implement the laws and be honest and professional, which means they must respect and obey the laws.

He added that they have to report any fellow police officers who are trafficking, distributing or using drugs and the locations where there is processing, production or storage of drugs.

He requested that all people join to combat all forms of drug trafficking to uphold human rights in effective collaboration with relevant police forces to crack down on and prevent drug trafficking and use in a timely manner.

Sar Kheng also advised all authorities, members of the armed forces and all people to protect peace, political stability and social order by implementing the safe village-commune policy and road traffic laws under Prime Minister Hun Sen’s slogan “Today, Tomorrow, No Accidents.”

Am Sam Ath, deputy director for rights group LICADHO, said he remains worried about the problem of drugs, because urban and rural Cambodians were being influenced by alcoholic beverages and drugs that will destroy their future if something isn’t done about it.

“This problem requires the police to strengthen the implementation of laws, especially the implementation of the safe village-commune policy efficiently, because now there are more drug trafficking offences and drug use cases. The police have to increase cooperation with relevant sides to contribute to the reduction in the problem of drugs among youths,” he said.

The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) released a January 6 report, saying that in 2022 the police and military personnel had encountered 6,290 drug offences and detained 14,784 people, of which 259 were foreigners of nine nationalities.