Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Up in smoke

Up in smoke

Up in smoke

Heng Chivoan

Authorities torch 200 kilograms of heroin in a ceremony at Olympic Stadium.

Authorities have torched hundreds of kilograms of narcotics during an anti-drug ceremony in Phnom Penh that followed last week's destruction of tons of safrole-rich oil, a key ingredient in the production of the party drug Ecstasy.

The June 23 drug-burn at Olympic Stadium destroyed 200 kilograms of heroin and precursor chemicals confiscated during the last 18 months, said Lour Ramin, secretary general for the National Authority for Combating Drugs.

“The burn reflects the commitment by authorities to combat drugs," he told reporters.

"It is also a message to drug producers, distributors and traffickers that the law will not forgive them,” he added.

During the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng urged authorities to ramp up their efforts to curb the drug trade. Cambodia is both a transit country for drug traffickers and, more recently, a producer of mainly methamphetamine-type stimulants.

Sar Kheng also warned that police officials caught dealing in drugs would be severely punished.

“There will be no excuse for any officials who use their positions to commit offences – if you are found, serious legal action will be taken against you,” he said.

The Olympic Stadium bonfire followed a similar destruction last week by Cambodian and Australian police officials of a massive stockpile of safrole-rich oil, which could have produced some 245 million Ecstasy tablets worth more than $7 billion.

Lars Pedersen of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime said that the event was a reflection of Cambodia's willingness to tackle drug production and trafficking.

 

“I would like to congratulate the government’s success in reducing the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis, which has been declining steadily over many years, and the resolute dismantling of the clandestine methamphetamine lab in Kampong Speu last year,” Pedersen said, referring to the 2007 bust of Cambodia's first known drug factory.

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

    The commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (BGU) Hing Bun Heang on Sunday dismissed a short video clip that went viral on social media in which he says he is preparing for a war with the United States over its aggressiveness towards