Cambodia burns down 1.56 tons of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin

PHNOM PENH — The Cambodian authorities on Sunday ceremonially burned down about 1.56 tons of marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin, which were seized from criminals last year, anti-drug chief said.

The drug destruction ceremony was held here to celebrate the International Day against Drug.

Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), said the drugs set on fire included 1.49 tons of dry marijuana, 1.5 kilograms of marijuana oil, 67.4 kilograms of methamphetamine, and 0.34 kilogram of heroin.

He appreciated anti-drug police officers for their active and constant suppression on drug-related crimes.

“Cambodia is not the country that produces illicit drugs, but it has been suffering from drug trafficking from regions around the world, especially from the Golden Triangle,” he said.

He added that criminals always attempted to use Cambodia as a “drug transit point” and a “drug processing den” for exporting to the third countries, but their attempts had been foiled thanks to timely crackdowns.

The Southeast Asian country saw a sharp rise in drug arrests in 2015. According to the NACD, some 7,008 drug suspects with 1.6 tons of drugs had been arrested last year in 3,061 cases.

In a message on the occasion, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said despite active crackdowns on drugs, Cambodia still continued facing and suffering from the impacts of illicit drug production and circulation inside and outside the region.

“Practically, in early 2016, even though we have cracked down on many drug offences, drug use is likely to spread to some rural areas,” he said.

He said drugs have not only caused issues to users and their families, but also had adverse impacts on security, public order and development in the society.

Meanwhile, the prime minister called on all circles to cooperate well with the authorities in order to combat drugs timely and effectively.

Cambodia has about 16,575 drug addicts, some 7,753 of them have received treatment to quit their drug habit, according to the NACD.

The country has no death sentence for drug traffickers under its law, and a person who traffics more than 80 grams of drug will be facing life imprisonment. PNA/Xinhua/