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Hun Sen Warns Against Drug Use

Cambodia is losing $50 million a year to drug abuse, the prime minister said Wednesday, warning of future damage to Cambodian society.

Hun Sen made his remarks to mark the National Day Against Drugs, in Phnom Penh. Cambodia is plagued with methamphetamine production and use, especially in the capital.

If each drug user spent $3 per day on drugs, $50 million per year is lost, Hun Sen said, adding that Cambodia could become “dangerous” if action isn’t taken.

“From now on, all relevant authorities, from village chiefs to provincial governors, should take action against drugs,” he said.

Ke Kim Yann, head of the government’s counter-drug authority, said drugs were a problem the world over.

Some drugs are locally produced; in 2007, police detained three men and seized three tons of drug-making equipment and supplies from a facility in Kampong Speu province.

More drugs are supplied out of the Golden Triangle region around Thailand, Burma and Laos, and are bought through Cambodia in Koh Kong province on the Thai border.

Cambodia has become a popular transit point for drugs, following a crackdown in Thailand in 2002.