In the first six months of this year, police in Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces seized nearly 200kg of drugs, which they destroyed in a bonfire on July 6 in Stung Treng in the presence of representatives from the three provincial courts.

According to Stung Treng deputy police chief Phay Raksmey, included in the blaze was 179.34kg of methamphetamines or ice, with 178.36 kg of it coming from Stung Treng itself while 843g were sent over from Ratanakkiri and another 136g delivered from Mondulkiri.

“We're burning these drugs to demonstrate our anti-drug policing efforts in the three provinces and the efforts of the courts and of all Cambodian anti-drug police,” he said.

Raksmey noted that the drug bonfire was also attended by Mak Chito, deputy National Police chief in charge of the anti-drug department and Stung Treng provincial governor Svay Sam Eang.

He continued that the ceremony was organised as part of the 7th campaign of collaboration with the National Authority on Combating Drugs (NACD) and the administrations of the three provinces to mark the International Day Against Drugs held under the theme “Solving Drug Problems Amid Public Health and Humanitarian Crises.”

“Currently, the drug problem in Cambodia is not on the decline, but actually on the rise. And if we want it to drop we must work together to crack down, prevent and eliminate it,” Chito said at the event.

He added that among the northeastern provinces, Stung Treng had the most drug crime taking place because it was a point of entry for drugs trafficked from neighbouring countries, especially Laos.

Cambodia is frequently used as a transit for delivering drugs to other countries, he noted, but so far the police have managed to stop the Kingdom from becoming a drug producing centre by cracking down on the traffickers and controlling the import and sale of certain chemicals necessary to manufacture illegal drugs, he said.