Nearly half a kilogram of illicit drugs was seized in Koh Kong province on Sunday leading to three arrests, the latest amid a 54 percent nationwide spike in drug-related arrests over a recent eight-month period.
The provincial police’s anti-drug bureau confiscated 103.7 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 520 meth pills and 339.5 grams of marijuana in a raid on the house of three suspects—retired coast guard official Sou Hor Nol, 50; Kouch Voleak, 47; and Sao Thona, 47—following a tip from an informant, according to a police report.
Police officers from the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department place packages of methamphetamine on a table ahead of a press conference at the National Police headquarters in Phnom Penh last year. (Masayori Ishikawa)Deputy provincial police chief Yim Pheng called it the biggest drug seizure in Koh Kong this year, and said the three suspects would be sent to the provincial court for questioning today.
The bust comes during a surge in drug-related arrests through the eight months from December 25 to August 31, with the Interior Ministry’s National Authority for Combating Drugs reporting 7,035 arrests compared to 4,564 in the same period a year earlier.
The number of drug-related cases was also up, 2,926 through August compared to 2,114 for the same period the year before—a 38 percent increase, according to the figures.
The amount of drugs confiscated, however, fell 6 percent from 113.18 kg to 106.32 kg, a reflection of busts bringing in smaller hauls. On average, just 15 grams of drugs were seized from every suspect arrested through August, compared to 25 grams for the earlier period.
Asked if the smaller busts were an indication of the government pursuing small-time drug dealers over higher-level distributors, Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said no one was being protected.
“It doesn’t matter how big you are—they’ll catch you,” Mr. Vyrith said.
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