Fewer Airport Arrests Lead to Drop in Drug Seizures

Despite a 72 percent increase in the number of drug-related arrests last year compared to 2013, 50 percent less drugs were seized during the same period, an official from the National Authority for Combating Drugs’ (NACD) said Tuesday.

During the NACD’s annual meeting at the Interior Ministry, NACD Secretary-General Meas Vyrith said that a combined 50.6 kg of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy was seized last year, compared to 100.9 kg in 2013.

“We arrested 3,142 people, including 425 women, in 2014, while 1,830 people were arrested in 2013,” Lieutenant General Vyrith said.

Contacted later in the day, Lt. Gen. Vyrith said the increased number of arrests was due to increased cooperation between both local and national authorities as well as improved coordination with Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

Lt. Gen. Vyrith attributed the decrease in drug seizures to fewer arrests made at the Phnom Penh International Airport last year.

In 2013, about 50 kg of methamphetamine and cocaine was seized in six separate busts at the airport alone, he said.

During Tuesday’s annual meeting, NACD President Ke Kim Yan stated that there are about 13,000 drug users in Cambodia.

sovuthy@cambodiadaily.com, mueller@cambodiadaily.com

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