Nearly 60kg of drug exhibits seized by authorities in Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kampong Speu provinces were burned on July 26 in Sihanoukville after final verdicts were issued by the courts.

General Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) who presided over the incineration ceremony, said on July 26 that the drugs came from various operations in each of the three provinces, but were not seized from processing plants.

He explained that drugs are burned after court rulings, noting that sometimes evidence has to be held until a suspect has exhausted the appeal process.

“When a case has not been settled by the courts, exhibits will not be destroyed. There are exceptions made for large quantities of drugs that are too dangerous to store,” he said.

Drug offences make up a large part of police operations in the Kingdom, and officers often seize illegal drugs which are pre-packaged. In such cases, Vyrith said the drugs were likely imported from the ‘Golden Triangle’ and were intended to be distributed domestically or exported abroad.

He said criminals often brought in illegal precursor chemicals. Their intent was to establish factories – or laboratories – where they could manufacture illegal drugs.

Vyrith praised the authorities, as well as the judiciary, for the work they have done to enforce the Kingdom’s anti-drug law. He also suggested that communities play a more active part in preventing the use of drugs.