Thursday, 22 May 2008

Cambodia Still Frets about Drug Trafficking


Cambodia is still saddled with danger of drug trafficking from the Golden Triangle and increase of domestic drug users, officials told an anti-drug meeting here on Wednesday.

"We still suffer from drug trafficking and using. Drug cases have increased and caused serious concern with us," said Lou Ramin, secretary general of the Cambodian National Anti-drug Authority, at the 2008 national meeting for monitoring drug problems.

Drugs have been imported from the Golden Triangle into Cambodia through its northern region like Stung Treng province, the Phnom Penh International Airport and even Laos since 2003, rather than through Thailand before, he said.

In 2007, criminals even made their efforts to establish drug- producing sites in Cambodia, he said, adding that two such cases were cracked down respectively in Kampong Speu province and the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

However, it was fortunate for the kingdom that marijuana plantation was completely weeded out recently, he said.

In another development, the government cracked down 152 drug cases and arrested 279 drug criminals in 2007 and during the first quarter of 2008, 42 drug cases were resolved and 67 drug criminals arrested, he said.

Meanwhile, addicts in Cambodia were found using drugs like amphetamine, heroin, ecstasy pills, marijuana and sniffing glue, he said.

The government has registered 5,797 drug users nationwide, including 377 women, and 1,719 of them have received treatment provided by the government, according to a report issued by the Interior Ministry.

Drug users went to youth exhibition centers of the Interior Ministry, where they were called "drug victims" to receive education and medical help, said Lou Ramin.

Each provincial or municipal authority has to establish youth exhibition center to treat them, he said.

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