Cambodian police detain 18,000, seize 670kg of drugs

Long Kimmarita

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) – Anti-drug police seized more than 670kg of drugs and detained some 18,000 suspects in the first 11 months of this year.

The Anti-Drug Department said in a report on Monday that from January 1 to December 8, it had tackled more than 9,000 drug cases nationwide, detaining more than 18,000 suspects including 381 foreigners of 12 nationalities.

In the nationwide operations, they confiscated more than 676kg of drugs, 99kg of marijuana and 86,416 marijuana plants.

“We arrested 10,287 people in 5,380 cases of drug dealing and trafficking. We also arrested 8,678 drug users in 3,675 cases,” the report said.

Deputy National Police Chief Mok Chito told The Post on Tuesday that 70 per cent of the more than 18,000 suspects were involved in drug trafficking and had been sent to court.

The other 30 per cent, he said, were drug users and had been sent to rehabilitation centres.

“Drug crackdowns are making prisons overcrowded. It’s a huge problem. We’ve arrested a lot of them and separated them into categories – drug dealers and traffickers have been sent to prison while drug users were sent to rehabilitation centres,” he said.

Chito said drugs remain a concern despite ongoing crackdowns. The problem had spread to the countryside and localities throughout the country, he said, and urged officers at the sub-national level to join forces with national authorities in preventing drug offences.

Deputy National Police Chief Mok Chito chairs a National Police results review meeting. PHOTO: ANN