Drug Agency Gets Equipment

The US Embassy handed over a set of drug-testing equipment Wednesday to the National Authority to Combat Drugs, the first installment of US aid meant to create a new narcotics-testing laboratory.

US Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, in one of his last acts before departing the country, gave Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng computer equipment and a hydraulic press during a ceremony at the Interior Ministry. The aid, from the US Drug En­forcement Administration, totals about $200,000, said En Sam An, the new secretary-general of the authority.

En Sam An said the authority now needs well-trained people to use it. He said he hoped the US would send Cambodian police for training abroad.

Sar Kheng, who is also co-interior minister, said Cambodia is perceived as a “sanctuary”

a­mong international criminals. But that’s misguided thinking, he said, adding that police are eventually effective in arresting international criminals here.

Also during the ceremony, Quinn congratulated the government’s efforts to combat drug trafficking and other serious crimes in Cambodia.

“I am leaving Cambodia with a good feeling for the future,” said Quinn, adding the government now had a strong anti-narcotics team on its side.

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