Anti-drug police reported on April 19 that the anti-drug department in Takeo had successfully raided six locations growing marijuana and burned more than 4,000 plants.
Vong Sokchea, acting chief of the anti-drug office at Takeo provincial police station told The Post that the operation took place over two days from April 17-18. The raids were in conjunction with the military police of Prey Ampoak and Preah Bat Chonchum communes, Kiri Vong district.
“For the past three days, our forces have found and burned 4,285 plants. Also, eight water containers used to irrigate the crops were destroyed,” he added.
Sokchea said during the first day of the operation, police investigated a location in Preah Bat Chonchum commune and seized 535 marijuana plants growing on 132sqm in the Thma Sangkran area.
The next day, authorities searched the Prey Ampoak area and found 3,750 marijuana plants which were planted at four locations.
The report said authorities detained 20 suspects for marijuana trafficking and planting. Their cases have already been sent to prosecutors.
“We detained the suspects for illegal marijuana planting, which still happens in Preah Bat Chonchum and Prey Ampoak communes. These two communes are located near ponds and many small mountains near the Cambodia-Vietnam border,” Sokchea said.
Prey Ampoak commune police chief Nhang Sang told The Post that people in Prey Ampoak commune do not generally farm but they like to fish, hunt, and grow marijuana like their ancestors.
From 1980 until 1990, the people in this commune grew marijuana in exchange for rice and other materials. However, the government considered marijuana plants addictive and banned them.
Some villagers migrated to become construction workers or factory workers in different parts of the Kingdom. Some people still continue to grow marijuana plants near the mountains and ponds which are far from their villages to hide from authorities, he added.
“If we only check their farms in their villages, we would not find marijuana plants because they do not plant with other crops like before. Therefore, authorities rarely find and the suspects who grow the plants,” he said.