The General Department of Immigration (GDI) has announced that it will commence drug testing of all its employees beginning next week. Any official discovered to have illicit substances in their system or any connection to illegal drugs will face dismissal and will be subject to legal proceedings.

A December 22 press release signed by GDI director-general Nop Vy stated that the measure is in compliance with the instructions of Minister of Interior Sar Sokha. 

Vy emphasised that the strict implementation of the guidelines is intended to ensure the integrity of immigration police officials.

“Therefore, drug testing for all officers will be conducted. The exact time and place will be announced later by the [GDI],” he said.

Touch Sokhak, deputy spokesperson for the ministry, provided further information on the drug testing of the GDI officers on December 24. 

He revealed that 12 officers under the ministry have already been dismissed after testing positive for illegal substances. However, he downplayed the significance of the figure, stating that it did not pose a serious concern.

Sokhak confirmed that the drug testing of immigration officers will be conducted this week as part of the minister’s policy in the seventh mandate. 

He emphasised that the testing initiative will continue to target and eliminate all officials involved in drug use and drug-related activities.

“We are committed to working responsibly and achieving results. The drug testing mechanism for ministry officials aligns with Prime Minister Hun Manet’s directive to ‘clean house’,” he said.

“Without addressing drug issues among law enforcement officers, we cannot set a positive example or serve as role models for the people and youth. In particular, enforcing the law and combating drug offences is challenging,” he added.

During the recent closing ceremony of the meeting summarising the work results for 2023 and outlining the 2024 working direction for the Ministry of Environment, Manet emphasised that the interior ministry, the Ministry of National Defence and the National Police must take action against officers who are involved with drugs. 

He said such individuals must be dismissed from their positions and face legal measures.

“If we do not cleanse our armed forces, the situation will deteriorate. Even at the military academy, anyone involved in drugs, whether a teacher or a member of the military, will be dismissed from their duties. The current government mandate has adopted a comprehensive approach, starting with the armed forces, to ensure that those using drugs are removed from service,” stated Manet.