Wednesday, 11.4.2007: Declaration Of Emergency About Drugs – Mr. Sar Kheng: ‘There Are Many Places Of Production Which Have Not Yet Been Cracked Down’

Posted on 13 April 2007. Filed under: Week 503 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 503

“Phnom Penh: Mr. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, made an emergency declaration on 10 April, saying that Cambodia fell into a state of emergency because of a very serious drug crisis, even though there were many major drug cases cracked down. As big smugglers of drugs and their ringleaders have not yet been arrested, it is not effective that some small smugglers and their ringleaders were arrested.

“Mr. Sar Kheng stated that the secret production of drugs in Cambodia is very dangerous for the country. Even though the majority of secretly produced drugs were to be sold not in Cambodia, some drugs would still be used also in Cambodia.

“Mr. Sar Kheng requested all persons in municipal and provincial leadership to pay more attention to cracking down on drugs, because he believes that there are many places of drug production which have not yet been cracked down.

“Mr. Sar Kheng made this statement on 10 April in the Ministry of Interior, when he presided over the meeting of the municipal and provincial Committees for Drug Control in 2007, which was held by the National Anti-Drug Authority.

“According to Mr. Sar Kheng’s speech, in the last few years he often received news about deaths caused by traffic accidents, violence, and some crimes related to drug abuse. The latter is a new problem that Cambodia has never had before. Meanwhile, he received news about the concerns of people who were affected by drug abuse, but the authorities have not yet taken measures to help such people appropriately.

“Mr. Sar Kheng added that the country has a growing number of young people who use drugs; that means there is a continuing loss of human resources and destroyed economic growth, and there are obstacles to correct economic planning. If serious measures are not taken against drug offenses, this will push the society into destruction. The slowness and inaction by local and other relevant authorities and institutions, especially law-enforcement institutions and other institutions involved in solving drug problems, made people dissatisfied with the government.

“Mr. Sar Kheng added that until now he does not yet know where drugs that were confiscated have to be dumped, because if drugs are buried, they will affect water resources. Therefore he gave this problem, to be solved, to technicians.

“According to a 2007 first-quarter report about the results of monitoring drugs, which was made by the Secretariat of the National Anti-Drug Authority, in the first quarter of 2007, ATS drugs – amphetamine type stimulants – especially methamphetamine, continued to be illegally imported into the provinces bordering Laos. Stung Treng is still the most important entry point. Some methamphetamine was targeted to be imported into Phnom Penh, and some was brought into the provinces bordering Thailand (especially Poipet). Heroin still had signs to show that there had not yet been any variation of entrance points and crossing points from Cambodia to foreign countries. Such a sign occurred in Stung Treng once (the people reported about their finding of heroin) and in the International Phnom Penh airport once (a Taiwanese man was about to take drugs to Taiwan). For the problem of marijuana in this first quarter, the authorities from Banteay Meanchey and Kandal found and destroyed plantations of marijuana furtively grown.

“According to the same report, 49 cases of offenses (112 cases in the first quarter of 2006) decreased by 56.25%, whereas the number of offenders (244 offenders) decreased by 66.39%. For confiscated drugs, 92,614 pills of methamphetamines (163,434 pills in the first quarter of 2006) decreased by 43.33%; there were 2.5 kilograms of ICE methamphetamines – methamphetamine hydrochloride crystals – plus 59 small packages (40 small packages in the first quarter of 2006); 6.25 kilograms of heroin plus 2 small packages (11 small packages in the first quarter of 2006); 2 kilograms of dry marijuana (no dry marijuana in the first quarter of 2006); 1,075 square meters of marijuana plantation (28.8 square meters in the first quarter of 2007). As for other things, two cars, three motorbikes, three mobile phones, and one passport were confiscated.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6014, 11.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Khmer Mekong, Vol.4, #259, 10-13.4.2007

  • Retired King Norodom Sihanouk Praised Samdech Hun Sen As A Great Man Of The New Generation [in a French letter written in Beijing, noting major achievements of Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • The Ministry Of Public Works And Transport Issued Ten Points Of Instructions For Drivers For Khmer New Year Day

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6014, 11.4.2007

  • Declaration Of Emergency About Drugs – Mr. Sar Kheng: ‘There Are Many Places Of Production Which Have Not Yet Been Cracked Down’
  • Thai Police Took Strict Measures Against Khmer People Who Do Business In The Rongkleu Market [Thai-Cambodian border]
    Phnom Penh Red Cross And Ho Chi Minh Red Cross Signed Memorandum Of Friendship And Cooperation
  • Amnesty International Appealed To Appeals Court [over the murder of Chea Vichea, the former leader of the Free Trade Union of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and over the appeals court hearing of two persons controversially convicted as murderers]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3133, 11.4.2007

  • Khmer Citizens Are To Settle The Debts For The Ruling Party [Mr. Cheam Yeap, the Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker, stated that the current government received international loans of $200 million per year as well as other loans of $100 million]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #4259, 11.4.2007

  • Drug Smuggling In Chai Hong Hotel [Phnom Penh] Was Cracked Down – Six People Were Arrested And 2 Cars And 4 Rifles Were Confiscated

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.14, #1169, 11.4.2007

  • The New Political Life Of Mr. Kem Sokha [until now president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, changing to go into politics]
  • 113 People With Disabilities And Poor People Received Vocational Training From CJIA [Cambodia-Japan Interactive Association]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #179, 11.4.2007

  • The Number Of Voters In 2008 Will Increase Up To 8 Million [claimed by opposition leader Sam Rainsy]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3031, 11.4.2007

  • More Than 2.5 Million Khmer People Did Not Go To Vote: Is This Normal For The National Election Committee?
  • Land Disputes Occurred Widely After The Commune Council Election [case of land grabbed by the Phanimex Company in Kandal and another case of land grabbed by Mr. Thai Hy, the commune chief in Kompong Chhnang]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #376, 11.4.2007

  • Opposition leader Sam Rainsy Suggested That Mature Politicians Should Not Consider Those As Enemies Who Are In The Opposition

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One Response to “Wednesday, 11.4.2007: Declaration Of Emergency About Drugs – Mr. Sar Kheng: ‘There Are Many Places Of Production Which Have Not Yet Been Cracked Down’”

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The mechanics of national economics are not so different from those of personal finances. In order to make either grow first you have to stop spending money on things that you do not need. And so in that vein the “That government is best that governs least” (Thomas Paine), and the best legal system is that which interferes least.

In other words, the fewer laws the better. One of the many things that the USA has proven is that the more laws you have, the more unintended consequences there are that have to be dealt with by even more laws. For example, in trying to keep people from using drugs the USA outlawed their use. The result was that a legal industry was turned into an illegal one and that people did not stop using drugs but the drugs did become much more expensive than they were when they were legal. Because they were expensive people had to commit other crimes so that they could pay for their habit. Eventually the profit from importing and selling once legal but now illegal drugs became so great that it corrupted law enforcement; and the political and judicial systems. In an additional effort to control drugs, the USA passed money laws which made it difficult for big money drug dealers to use their money either in the US or to move it out of the US.
1. It created an entire new illegal industry to launder and/or move money out of the country;
2. The money leaving the US is used to corrupt the law enforcement, judicial and political processes in other countries (such as Columbia Mexico, and the countries of the golden triangle in South East Asia);
3. Because the money could not be easily transferred to legitimate businesses (unlike the money generated by the failed prohibition of alcohol which generated countless small businesses and jobs) drug money is a drag on the economy because it sends investment resources outside of the US borders and creates unmeasured balance of payment problems;
4. Because the money is not reinvested in the visible economy it is not taxed;
5. Because the money is not reinvested in the legitimate economy it does not create legal jobs.
6. Finally, there is no telling how many hundred of millions of dollars have been wasted on trying to enforce this program.

The point here is: that it is better to control human behavior than to try to extinguish it. Capitalism teaches us that Demand X Scarcity = Value. So if there is a demand for (example) drugs, and the government makes drugs scarce by making them illegal, the cost of drugs will be artificially inflated.

Inflated costs do not decrease demand they simply drive buyers into illegal pursuits (theft, prostitution, etc.) so that they can afford the product. Inflated costs do drive profits up and so more people are willing to become suppliers. Making a product (or service) illegal but for which there is always some level of demand, actually increases (rather than decreases) both demand and availability (the higher the profit the more people there are to supply it).

Since the product is being supplied illegally, product quality is suspect. In the case of drugs, poor quality control may well lead to permanent user damage or death.

In the long run making the sale and use of drugs illegal is probably more harmful to both the individual and the state than if the government controlled their production, distribution, and sale. Of course none of this applies to children. The conviction of sale and/or the distribution of controlled substances to children should result in the guilty party ingesting the total amount of substance that he/she may have provided to all of the recipients. This may result in death, paralysis, brain damage, etc. No government assistance for any non lethal consequence should be provided.

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