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Cambodia burns $70 million of seized illegal drugs while urging public education about their danger

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Cambodia burns $70 million of seized illegal drugs while urging public education about their danger
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News

Cambodia burns $70 million of seized illegal drugs while urging public education about their danger

2024-06-14 22:58 Last Updated At:23:00

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than seven tons of illicit drugs and the ingredients for them, as a drug-fighting official said educating people about their danger is the best way of combating the illegal trade.

Some 4.1 tons of the destroyed items were drugs including heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy and ketamine that had been confiscated from traffickers across the country, the National Authority for Combating Drugs said. The remaining 3.2 tons were various chemicals and other ingredients used to produce illegal drugs, it said.

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A Cambodian police officer stands guard near brick kilns during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than seven tons of illicit drugs and the ingredients for them, as a drug-fighting official said educating people about their danger is the best way of combating the illegal trade.

An officer, left, shows a plastic bag containing drugs in front of a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

An officer, left, shows a plastic bag containing drugs in front of a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian police officers guard near brick kilns during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian police officers guard near brick kilns during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A pile of drugs are displayed before a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A pile of drugs are displayed before a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Officers prepare for a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Officers prepare for a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Workers load drugs inside a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Workers load drugs inside a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian officers burn drugs inside a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian officers burn drugs inside a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Gen. Meas Virith, secretary general of the drug-fighting agency, said the drugs that were burned in a brick kiln at a ceremony on the outskirts of the capital, Phnom Penh, had an estimated wholesale value of $22.7 million and a street value of nearly $70 million. Had they not been seized, they could have harmed millions of people, he said.

He said the best way now to fight illegal drugs is by educating Cambodians from all walks of life about the dangers they pose. To teach people not to use or traffic illicit drugs is better than just cracking down on those criminally involved, he said.

“As you are aware, if we use only crackdown measures, then we need to do so repeatedly. Let’s say this year we burn these things, and next year we will do it again,” he said. “But if we invest in drug education, awareness and protection, then drug activities would be reduced.”

Meas Virith said the authorities pursued more than 3,800 drug-related cases in the first five months of this year, arresting more than 10,000 people, including foreigners.

The production and trafficking of synthetic drugs, especially methamphetamine, are at record highs in Southeast Asia and pose a major threat to its societies, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

“Seizures of crystal methamphetamine have increased year-by-year in Cambodia for the seventh year in a row, reaching over 1.4 tons in 2023, showing the ongoing expansion of the market for the drug in the country,” the U.N. agency said in a report last month.

“The amount of heroin seized doubled in 2023. This increase in heroin seizures was observed in multiple countries in East and Southeast Asia, possibly indicating a reinvigoration in the heroin market in the region after declining seizures the previous year.”

A Cambodian police officer stands guard near brick kilns during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A Cambodian police officer stands guard near brick kilns during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

An officer, left, shows a plastic bag containing drugs in front of a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

An officer, left, shows a plastic bag containing drugs in front of a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian police officers guard near brick kilns during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian police officers guard near brick kilns during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A pile of drugs are displayed before a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A pile of drugs are displayed before a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Officers prepare for a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Officers prepare for a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Workers load drugs inside a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Workers load drugs inside a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian officers burn drugs inside a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian officers burn drugs inside a brick kiln during a drug destruction ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 14, 2024. Cambodian authorities on Friday destroyed more than 7 tons of illicit drugs and ingredients. Those drugs included heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cathinone, ketamine and nimetazepam. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

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Robert MacIntyre wins Scottish Open; Ayaka Furue takes Evian Championship

2024-07-15 09:48 Last Updated At:09:51

NORTH BERWICK, Scotland (AP) — Robert MacIntyre won an Open that felt like a major to him Sunday when he made a 22-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 3-under 67 to win the Scottish Open, becoming the first Scot in 25 years to win his national open.

MacIntyre seized on a huge break on the par-5 16th when he realized he was standing on a sprinkler head in rough so deep he could barely see his ball. He received a free drop in shorter grass and blasted his approach from 248 yards to 6 feet for eagle to tie Adam Scott for the lead.

His birdie putt took one last turn before falling, and MacIntyre dropped his putter and turned to a delirious Scottish gallery with a sweeping uppercut to celebrate.

The 27-year-old from the tiny coastal town of Oban won for the second time this year, also capturing the Canadian Open — the fourth-oldest championship in golf — last month. Colin Montgomerie in 1999 was the last Scot to win the Scottish Open.

And next week is the big one — the British Open, the final major of the year, across Scotland at Royal Troon. It has been just over a century since a British player won at Troon. But this felt just as big to the little lefty.

Scott closed with a 67.

Rory McIlroy closed with a 68 and tied for fourth, his first appearance since he lost a late lead in the U.S Open last month at Pinehurst No. 2.

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Ayaka Furue of Japan made a 12-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole to win the Evian Championship for her first major title.

The 24-year-old Furue closed with a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over Australian Stephanie Kyriacou (67). Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit was another stroke back after a 63.

Heading to the 18th hole, Furue and Kyriacou were tied at 17 under with Tavatanakit, who was already in the clubhouse.

Furue also won the 2022 Women’s Scottish Open.

Top-ranked American Nelly Korda tied for 26th at 5 under after a 68.

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Ernie Els won the Kaulig Companies Championship for his first senior major title, closing with a 2-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over Y.E. Yang at breezy Firestone.

A stroke behind defending champion Steve Stricker entering the round, Els rebounded to par the final two holes after hitting in the water and making a bogey on the par-5 16th. Yang bogeyed the par-4 18th in a 66.

Els became the PGA Tour Champions’ first three-time winner this season, winning for the sixth time on the 50-and-over tour. The 54-year-old South African has won four regular major championships — the U.S. Open in 1994 and ’97 and the British Open in 2002 and ’12.

Els finished at 10-under 270 after opening with rounds of 68 and 64. The Hall of Famer earned $525,000 and a spot in The Players Championship in March.

Jerry Kelly, the 2020 and 2022 champion, was third at 7 under after a 69. Stricker, also the 2021 winner at Firestone, shot 73 to tie for fourth at 6 under.

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Harry Hall chipped in for birdie from 45 feet on the third hole of a playoff to win the ISCO Championship for his first PGA Tour title.

The 26-year-old Englishman closed with a 3-under 69 to get into the playoff with Matt NeSmith, Pierceson Coody, Zac Blair and Rico Hoey. They finished at 22-under 266 on Keene Trace’s Champions Course in the event co-sanctioned by the European tour.

Hall scrambled for par on the par-4 18th on the first extra hole, driving well left into long grass, hitting into the front greenside bunker and blasting out to a foot. He stayed alive when NeSmith’s 8-foot birdie try slid by to the right, while Blair and Hoey dropped out. On the next trip down 18 in the playoff, Hall, NeSmith and Coody all missed birdie putts, with NeSmith the closest at 12 feet.

Hall ended it on the 209-yard, par-3 ninth, getting his chip from the right side to fall before NeSmith and Coody missed their attempts.

NeSmith and Blair each shot 64, playing in back-to-back groups about two hours in front of the final pairing.

Hoey (69) took a one-stroke into the final hole of regulation, but made a bogey after his wedge approach bounced over the green and into rocks along the bank of a pond.

SOTOGRANDE, Spain (AP) — Sergio Garcia won LIV Golf Andalucia for his first victory on the Saudi-funded tour, overcoming a seven-stroke deficit and beating Anirban Lahiri on the second hole of a playoff.

The 44-year-old Garcia thrilled the home fans with a 5-under 66 to match Lahiri (73) at 5 under at Valderrama, then won with a par on the second extra hole. Garcia ended a four-year winless with his 37th professional title.

García’s Fireballs team also won the team title, winning a playoff over the Crushers — the first time in LIV Golf that both individual and team titles had been decided in playoffs.

BERTHOUD, Colo. (AP) — Cristobal Del Solar of Chile won The Ascendant for his first Korn Ferry Tour title, making two eagles in a 6-under 66 and a four-stroke victory.

Del Solar wrapped up PGA Tour membership for next season, moving to No. 5 in the season standings. He holed a 33-foot eagle putt on No. 5 and a 40-footer on No. 15, then chipped in for birdies on 16 and 18 to finish at 22 under at TPC Colorado.

In February in Colombia, Del Solar became the first player to shoot 57 in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event with a 13-under 57 in the Astara Golf Championship.

Matthew Riedel (66) and Brian Campbell (67) tied for second.

Former tennis player Mardy Fish won the American Century Championship celebrity tournament for the second time, holding off NHL player Joe Pavelski by four points at Edgewood Tahoe in Nevasa. The 42-year-old Fish, also the 2020 winner, had a 26-point round at Edgewood Tahoe under the modified Stableford scoring system to finish at 83, one short of the record set by Billy Joe Tolliver in 2010. ... Kensei Hirata won the Shigeo Nagashima Invitational Sega Sammy Cup for his third Japan Golf Tour victory. He closed with a 3-under 68 to finish at 19-under 267, two strokes ahead of Taiga Semikawa and Taiki Yoshida. ... Daniela Iacobelli won the Hartford HealthCare Women’s Championship in Milford, Connecticut for her fifth career Epson Tour title. She shot 66-67-67 for a one-stroke victory over Amelia Lewis. ... Jiu Ko closed with a 3-under 69 for a two-stroke victory in the Korea LPGA’s High1 Resort Ladies Open. ... Ian Holt won the PGA Tour Americas' rain-shortened Explore NB Open, shooting a 9-under 62 in the third round for a four-stroke victory. He finished at 26-under 187 after opening with rounds of 63 and 62 at Mactaquac in New Brunswick.

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

Ayaka Furue, of Japan, celebrates with her trophy after winning the Evian Championship women's golf tournament, in Evian, eastern France, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Ayaka Furue, of Japan, celebrates with her trophy after winning the Evian Championship women's golf tournament, in Evian, eastern France, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Robert MacIntyre poses with the Genesis Scottish Open trophy after he wins the Genesis Scottish Open 2024 golf tournament in North Berwick, Scotland, Sunday July 14, 2024. (Malcolm Mackenzie/PA via AP)

Robert MacIntyre poses with the Genesis Scottish Open trophy after he wins the Genesis Scottish Open 2024 golf tournament in North Berwick, Scotland, Sunday July 14, 2024. (Malcolm Mackenzie/PA via AP)

Robert MacIntyre celebrates after he wins the Genesis Scottish Open 2024 golf tournament in North Berwick, Scotland, Sunday July 14, 2024. (Malcolm Mackenzie/PA via AP)

Robert MacIntyre celebrates after he wins the Genesis Scottish Open 2024 golf tournament in North Berwick, Scotland, Sunday July 14, 2024. (Malcolm Mackenzie/PA via AP)

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