Authorities up efforts on cross-border drug traffic

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Nearly 200kg of methamphetamine were seized from two foreigners in July. Police

Anti-drug forces in the capital’s Kambol, Chroy Changva and Dangkor districts seized more than three tonnes of methamphetamine and chemicals in July and arrested a Chinese man and another unidentified foreigner holding no passport.

The suspects were detained and charged with cross-border drug trafficking, a crime that is increasingly on the radar of law enforcement in Cambodia.

The focus on international cross-border drug crimes is in collaboration with the Central Security Department of the Ministry of Interior, the General Secretariat of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) and the Anti-Drug department, according to NACD spokesman Meas Virith.

“Police continue to investigate because it’s organised crime groups,” Virith said on Wednesday.

Anti-Drug Department deputy director In Song said on Wednesday the Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged the two suspects and sent to prison last week. The drugs seized from the suspects amounted to nearly 200kg of methamphetamine.

Ministry of Interior Central Security Department director Dy Vichea was not available to comment.

However, police records show that its officers have been investigating more large-scale cross-border drug trafficking cases.

Cambodian police have requested cooperation with China’s customs unit through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Thailand.

According to records dated July 19, the Central Security Department launched an operation in collaboration with the intervention unit of the National Police and the Phnom Penh Municipal Police with the coordination of Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Say Nora.

In that operation, police forces from different departments detained a foreigner at Chroy Changvar district with 198 packages (185kg) of methamphetamine hidden in a wooden box.

Then, police arrested a Chinese man in Chroy Changvar district and confiscated 8.45kg of methamphetamine along with 20.16kg of drug-processing chemicals and some processing equipment in the suspect’s condominium.

The record also showed that police arrested another Chinese man in Kamboul district and confiscated 11 types of chemicals weighing a total of 3,146 kg.

They then searched a separate storage location in Dangkor district and confiscated two pill-making machines and 14 sets of drug tablet templates. The suspects intended to smuggle the drugs to Taiwan, according to the police report.

Song said anti-drug police are continuing to investigate cross-border drug trafficking cases after a series of arrests on July 19 in Phnom Penh involving two foreign suspects.

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