Cambodia destroys six-tonnes of illicit drugs on anti-drug day; PM Hun Sen calls for all against dangerous element

Cambodia burned more than six tonnes of illicit drugs and ingredients on Sunday to mark the International Day Against Drug, officials said. - Phnom Penh Post/ANN

PHNOM PENH, June 26 (Phnom Penh Post/ANN): Cambodia burned more than six tonnes of illicit drugs and ingredients on Sunday to mark the International Day Against Drug, officials said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng set fire on the seized illicit substances at a ceremony held at the Diamond Island in the capital Phnom Penh.

"The event clearly reflects the Cambodian government's strong willingness and commitment to preventing and suppressing all forms of illicit drugs," he said.

Kheng added that the authorities would intensify crackdowns on all kinds of drug crimes and money laundering.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court's prosecutor Chreng Khmao said some 6.25 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients were destroyed at the event, adding that they were heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam.

The South-East Asian nation has no death sentence for drug traffickers. Under its law, those found guilty of trafficking more than 80 grams of drugs could be jailed for life.

According to the country's Anti-Drug Police Department (ADP), during the January-May period of 2022, the authorities had arrested 6,168 drug suspects including 80 foreigners, seizing 1.58 tons of illicit drugs.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hun Sen has issued a fresh, all-inclusive call to join in the battle against illegal drugs.

The premier made the call in a letter on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – to be observed on June 26.

The letter was addressed to all government ministries and institutions, law enforcement and armed forces, other authorities, religious communities, the private sector, local and international NGOs, and the entire public, especially parents and guardians.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) set this year’s theme as “Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises” to push for the development and adoption of effective anti-drug measures amid a slew of global health and humanitarian crises, and other challenges.

Hun Sen underscored that Cambodia has set the fight against illegal drugs as a priority, even as the world grapples with the knock-on effects of Covid-19 and the Ukraine conflict.

Despite great strides made around the world through various initiatives, concerning levels of illegal drug abuse, production, processing, storage and trafficking persist in Cambodia and elsewhere.

The premier called on parents and guardians to do their part in preventing and stopping drug-related issues in local communities, and called on the authorities and other entities involved to enforce the applicable policies.

“I ask that all parents and guardians keep looking after their children and educating them well, and see to it that they grow up in good health and safety, away from drugs and negative societal pressures, for the future of our children,” Hun Sen said.

Ministries, institutions, religious communities and the private sector are to educate people on the effects of illicit drugs.

The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), the health and social affairs ministries, and relevant provincial authorities are to increase the quality and effectiveness of drug treatment services offered at all state and private facilities, to inspire public confidence.

Hun Sen said: “Referral hospitals and health centres have to facilitate, support, motivate, and encourage drug addicts to seek treatment and rehabilitation services within their communities.” - Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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Cambodia , Burn , Six Tonnes , Drugs , International Day


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