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Students listen to a speech given by Hun Manith, head of the army’s military intelligence unit, yesterday at the Cambodian Police Academy in Phnom Penh earlier this week. Photo supplied
Students listen to a speech given by Hun Manith, head of the army’s military intelligence unit, yesterday at the Cambodian Police Academy in Phnom Penh earlier this week. Photo supplied

For cops, espionage 101

The Cambodian Police Academy has asked the Defence Ministry’s Intelligence Department, led by the prime minister’s second son, Hun Manith, to train its teachers in espionage tactics in order to impart the knowledge to new recruits.

According to academy deputy director Svay Chanda, academy representatives made the request on Tuesday, when Manith, a two-star general, spoke at the institute, which trains police and prison officers.

“The national academy made requests of [Manith] on two points. Firstly, [we] asked him to provide training on national security skills, meaning espionage. Secondly, [we] asked to provide support study material,” he said.

Chanda said police officers “needed” such skills, but declined to go into specifics about the proposal.

He added that Manith indicated he would create a committee to oversee the plan, develop a curriculum, and select teachers. “I think we will prepare the plan this year. We will implement it at the furthest next year or even earlier,” he said.

Contacted yesterday, Ek Monosen, another academy deputy director, said the program would allow the military and police institution to exchange information, noting that Manith’s department had many members who were trained abroad.

Defence Ministry spokesman Chum Socheat said security forces were unable to provide specifics about counter intelligence and terrorism training.

National security analyst Long Kim Khorn agreed that Manith’s unit was well resourced with foreign-trained staff as well as telecommunication monitoring capacities.

But he added that he hoped equipping police with counter-intelligence skills would help protect national security and not be used against political threats to the government.

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