Phongsaly provincial police officers destroyed poppy plantations over more than a hectare after discovering villagers using it to cultivate opium.
According reports, after receiving a complaint from a resident that some individuals in the region were secretly growing the plant to produce narcotics, the Department of Drug Inspection and Control and other officials from Phongsaly’s Yodou district destroyed three plantations in the area.
Phongsaly’s Provincial Party Committee and Chief of Phongsaly Police Department, General Khamchanh Senglavanh, explained that police used sticks and machetes to cut and uproot trunks, buds, and fruit to prevent villagers from harvesting them.
The authorities also cautioned the residents about the dangers and harmful effects of opium to discourage them from producing or consuming the drug.
Police in Luang Prabang also destroyed 153 hectares of opium poppy plantations around the same time last year after investigating 14 villages in the province.
Laos was the third-largest illicit opium poppy producer in the world as recently as 1998, however, commitment to eradication efforts on the part of the government has reduced opium cultivation to marginal levels, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.