Anti-Drug Chiefs To Curb Precursor Chemicals

Officials from the National Authority for Combating Drugs and the UN Drug Control Pro­gram met in Phnom Penh on Wednesday to discuss ways of tightening Cambodian laws on the import and sale of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit substances such as narcotics and methamphetamines.

While Cambodia has mostly faced the trafficking and sale of drugs inside and across its borders, drug production is increasing, and unless laws are introduced to curb the trade in pre-cursor chemicals, the manufacture of drugs will continue, said Authority Director General Teng Savong.

“Cambodia is seriously faced with the production of drugs by the use of precursor [chemicals] being sold in markets,” Teng Savong told the workshop on a Na­­tional Action Plan for Streng­thening Precursor Chemical Control in Cambodia.

Without the necessary laws, those who use precursor chemicals for illegal purposes will re­main free from criminal prosecution, he said.

“Laws should be clear about controlling precursors and punishment of smugglers and to inform the public [of the laws].”

Methamphetamine use is ex­ploding, mainly among young Cam­bodians. Last month police raided a pill producing laboratory in Koh Kong province. In the last two years, police also have foiled attempts to establish drug labs in Phnom Penh and Banteay Mean­chey province, Teng Savong said.

The NACD will work to develop the necessary laws to control the sale, import and trade of precursor chemicals and to educate authorities in their implementation and appropriate punishment.

Bangkok-based UNDCP Pro­ject Director Wong Hoy Yuen warned that if the trade in precursor chemicals is not curbed, Cam­bodia could expect drug production to increase.

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