At a conference in the capital yesterday, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana called upon municipal and provincial court officials to speed up trials of drug traffickers so the state can seize their assets faster.
With the government now in phase two of an anti-drug campaign that began last January and saw 9,700 arrests in its first six months, Vong Vathana emphasised the importance of separating users from traffickers. “When [the arrested] are dealers, we can jail them, but for the users, we bring them to the rehabilitation centre,” he said, adding that there is a need for more rehabilitation centres for users.
Vong Vathana called for trials of traffickers to take between four and six months. “We can make trials as fast as possible, within six months, because after the trial, when [the court] decides [the assets] are state property, we can sell them.”
In March, Ke Kim Yan, the head of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, announced that police would receive $10,000 for busts netting more than a kilogram of drugs.
Last month, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said that $1 million raised through the sale of assets confiscated during the crackdown would be set aside to reward officers involved in future busts.