Police Burn 45,000 Marijuana Plants in Public Forest

Police burned nearly 45,000 marijuana plants growing on public forestland in Takeo province on Tuesday and Wednesday after they were tipped off by local villagers, police said Thursday.

The villagers told police they had encountered 131 small plots of marijuana while searching for firewood in a public forest in Kiri Vong district’s Preah Bat Chonchum commune on Monday, said Chak Son, chief of the provincial anti-drug police.

“Due to difficulties in transporting the plants out of the forest, and to avoid allegations that evidence has disappeared, we requested that the provincial court allow us to burn them on site,” he said.

On Tuesday, police found and destroyed 22,439 marijuana plants at 50 locations in the commune and returned on Wednesday to burn a further 22,253 plants on 81 plots, Mr. Son said.

He said police still did not know who was responsible for cultivating the marijuana and it was unlikely any arrests would be made because the plants were growing on public land.

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