Throughout the course of 2021, authorities seized a record 2.7 tonnes of ketamine within the borders of Cambodia—almost 15 times the amount seized within the country over the previous five years combined.
The sharp uptick in seizures was revealed in a report published by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Monday, which noted that Cambodia’s 2.7 tonnes of ket accounted for about half of Southeast Asia’s total. By comparison, in 2020, authorities seized just 112.5 kilograms of the drug; in 2016, they seized a little over a kilo.
“The non-medical use of ketamine from clandestine manufacture remains of concern in the region,” the authors of the report noted. “In 2021, the total amount of ketamine seized in East and Southeast Asia reached nearly 10.3 tonnes.”