About $7 million worth of marijuana stuffed into coffee bags has been seized by police in Cambodia as the country cracks down on the drug, according to the Associated Press. The 1.5 tons of marijuana confiscated during a series of raids is the largest haul police have made since the crackdown began 15 years ago.
The marijuana was smuggled in from Laos in bags of the popular coffee brand Dao and was intended to go to a third country, but officials would not say where the final destination was. Officials did not say who was behind the smuggling, but said they believed it was a Westerner and that three suspects were arrested over the weekend in Phnom Penh, the Daily Mail reported.
“They planned to smuggle the marijuana to third countries where the price is high,” Gen. Khieu Samon, head of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug force, told the Daily Mail.
During the raids, police also took about 1 ½ liters of cannabis oil.
Cambodia was known for years to have a relaxed attitude when it came to marijuana, the AP reported. That began to change about 15 years ago, when the country banned the growth of marijuana due to pressure from the West.
In the first half of 2015 alone, about 2,000 suspected drug traffickers have been arrested in Cambodia. In June, Cambodian officials seized 55 kilograms (about 121 pounds) of methamphetamine and heroin that came from Laos.
— Gloria Lai (@Laiglo) July 29, 2015
Cambodia’s crackdown hasn’t stopped those from elsewhere from using the country as a traffic stop for smuggling drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. Cambodia’s permeable borders and relaxed law enforcement, along with neighboring Thailand implementing stricter drug policies, has made it a popular stop for smugglers.