Police in Banteay Meanchey province this week arrested 38 people in connection with the seizure of $90,000 worth of drugs, including more than 12,000 amphetamine pills and boxes of the horse-tranquilizer Ketamine.
On Friday, three of those arrested were listed on the National Police website as being traffickers in a drug ring based in Poipet City, while the rest of the group are suspected of being drug users.
“We have confiscated 12,000 amphetamine pills, 20 boxes of Ketamine and half a kilo of methamphetamine,” Chhen Chhuot, deputy provincial police chief, said of the bust, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday.
“First, we arrested one man—a trafficker who carried the drugs from Phnom Penh to Poipet City, and later two people were arrested as they waited to receive the drugs,” Mr. Chhuot said.
The posting on the police website lists the three as Hour Iemleang, 30, San Srey Mom, 26, and Meas Samnang, 36. It said police received a tip-off about Mr. Iemleang and monitored his journey northwest until he was arrested near the Poipet international border checkpoint.
Mr. Chhuot said that all three were being held in the provincial prison as their case is prepared for the court.
Poipet City police chief Um Sophal said the other 35 suspected drug users were being detained at the city’s police station for questioning.
Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Kousoum Saroeuth said the two-day-long crackdown was part of a larger effort to combat a growing drug problem in Poipet City.
“We have praised police officials’ efforts to crack down on drug trafficking, because it is a serious issue in society and is a criminal offense,” he said.
In May, military police officials arrested two men and seized 17,523 methamphetamine pills and 3.51 grams of crystal methamphetamine in Banteay Meanchey province.
Methamphetamine continues to be the most commonly seized drug in Cambodia, which is increasingly being used as a production and transit point for narcotics, particularly amphetamine-type stimulants.
According to the National Authority for Combating Drugs NACD, police confiscated 17.3 kg of methamphetamine pills in 2013, up from 10.6 kg in 2012.
More than 32 kg of methamphetamine powder was also seized last year.