About 5,000 people have been arrested for drug use and trafficking since July in the second phase of an ongoing controversial drug crackdown, bringing the total number of arrestees this year to almost 13,700 people.

According to the Interior Ministry, 13,691 people were arrested in 6,205 cases over the past nine months – more than 7,200 of them suspected traffickers, and almost 6,500 alleged users. More than 8,000 people were arrested in the first half of the year. The Anti-Drug Department also confiscated 68 cars, 1,624 motorbikes, 16 guns and more than 153kg of drugs, including methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine, cocaine and marijuana.

Rhona Smith, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, last Wednesday warned of overcrowding in the Kingdom’s already-packed prisons. “This year the situation has deteriorated to dangerous levels,” she said.

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