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Cambodia sees rise in drug seizures in first quarter

PHNOM PENH (XINHUA) – The number of people arrested in Cambodia for being involved in illicit drugs decreased in the first quarter of 2022, but the amount of drugs seized increased dramatically, the Anti-Drug Police Department (ADP) said in a report yesterday.

The authorities detained 3,697 drug-related suspects in 1,598 cases during the January-March period this year, down 19 per cent and 18 per cent compared to the same period last year, the report said.

“Some 1.5 tonnes of illicit drugs… as well as five pistols and six rifles had been seized from those suspects during the January-March period of 2022,” it said.

In the first quarter of 2021, only 579 kilogrammes of drugs were confiscated, according to the report.

National Authority for Combatting Drugs (NACD) Chairman Ke Kim Yan said during the NACD’s annual conference on Wednesday the authorities faced difficulties in cracking down on drug activities due to COVID-19.

“Despite the global pandemic, the activities of drug gangs have not declined, and the criminals have used more sophisticated means or strategies to manufacture or smuggle illicit drugs,” he said.

The Southeast Asian nation has no death sentence for drug traffickers.

According to the ADP, the authorities nabbed 13,765 drug suspects in 6,242 cases throughout the country in 2021, seizing 4.43 tonnes of illicit drugs, mostly crystal methamphetamine (ice), heroin, ecstasy and ketamine.

Traffickers arrested with some 600 kilogrammes of drugs. PHOTO: PHNOM PENH POST/ANN