Cambodian and Australian officials began training in Phnom Penh Monday to improve
the detection of chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs.
is increasingly becoming a source of drug production, including
methamphetamines, and is facing a rise in the use of cocaine and heroin,
“We are committed to supporting our neighbors and to building
close regional cooperation in the fight against transnational crime,”
Australian Ambassador Margaret Adamson said at the opening of the course.
In April 2007, Cambodian police made a massive raid on a
drug-production facility in Kampong Speu province, finding tons of precursor
chemicals for making methamphetamines. This year, police have made
several seizures of sassafras oil, which is used to make the drug Ecstasy.
The raids highlighted the need for increased vigilance by
Cambodian authorities to stop the manufacture, supply and trafficking of
precursor chemicals, Adamson said.
“These seizures demonstrate that Cambodia faces the challenges of
suppressing drug production for regional export, as well as challenges faced as
a transit center for regional and international drug markets,” she said. “Cambodia also
faces rapidly growing illicit drug use in the country.”
Lt. Gen. Lour Ramin, secretary-general of the National
Authority for Combating Drugs, said Cambodia was threatened by the
increase of illicit drug trafficking, due to its weak legal system, inadequate
human resources among citizens and geographic location near the Golden
“Our legal system has some weaknesses compared to the
countries surrounding us,” he said. “We have no law to execute [drug
Cambodian police and customs officials will receive training
through Wednesday in the detection and identification of hazardous materials
used in drug production.