Police Say Major Ketamine, Drug Haul Was Headed for Export

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The National Police seized close to 600 kilos of drugs from Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville over the weekend. (National Police)

Police announced the seizure of some 700 kg of ketamine and other drugs, as an anti-drug official said most recent hauls were believed to be headed abroad to Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and other countries.

In Sok, deputy of the National Police anti-drug department, said the latest hauls follow the seizure of 3 tons of drugs and 300 tons of precursors so far this year. That follows 4.7 tons of drugs and 84 tons of precursors seized in all of last year, according to government figures.

Sok said on Monday that officers had seized ketamine, heroin and methamphetamines believed to have been produced in the Golden Triangle area bordering Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

He said police believe that most of it was headed overseas, and that most of the ketamine would be consumed together with ecstasy in clubs.

“For drug trafficking through our country, some of it is for domestic supply, but it is only a small amount,” he said. “A large amount of it is exported to a third country — so far it is Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and others.”

On March 21, authorities seized nearly 600 kg of drugs in Phnom Penh’s Toul Tom Poung, Boeng Tompun I and Toul Sangke 2 communes as well as Sihanoukville’s Muoy commune, police said over the weekend.

The following day, authorities arrested three Taiwanese nationals and seized more than 100 kg of drugs in Phnom Penh, police said.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime last year warned that Cambodia was being targeted by organized crime for the production of drugs in addition to trafficking and distribution. In December, police found 80 tons of ketamine precursors, 1.4 tons of the drug and a lab in Kampong Speu province.

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