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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Extradition

Extradition

INTERPOL officials have been given the "green light" to extradite two Hong

Kong residents being held on immigration trafficking charges, Cambodia's Interpol

chief said January 21.

The Interpol chief said approval had come from the "top level" of the Interior

Ministry on the same day detectives from Hong Kong's Organized Crime and Triad Bureau

(OCTB) arrived in Phnom Penh.

Three OCTB detectives arrived Jan 21 to investigate the case of Chan Hak So and Chan

Yuichun, alleged to be ringleaders in an international network smuggling illegal

immigrants from China to the US and Europe via Cambodia.

"If the Hong Kong police ask to take them back, we don't want to keep them here

because we do not have the money to feed them," said General Skadavy M Ly Roun,

head of Cambodia's Interpol office.

General Skadavy said the lack of an extradition treaty between the two countries

was "no problem" and nor was a scheduled trial for the two suspects an

obstacle.

"We can compromise on this matter ... in July Hong Kong will belong to China

and Cambodia already has an extradition treaty with China," said Skadavy.

The two Hong Kong residents were arrested in a Christmas Day raid at a Phnom Penh

villa by Cambodian Interpol officers, along with 83 illegal Chinese aliens.

The two men are being held in T3 prison with other suspected ringleaders, Chen Si

Tong and Dong Rong, both Chinese nationals, also arrested on charges of organizing

entry of illegal immigrants and passport forgery.

At press time General Skadavy said he expected his Hong Kong counterparts to request

extradition, however OCTB Senior Inspector Martin Richardson appeared willing to

support a Cambodian trial for the two suspected traffickers.

"If they have committed an offense in Cambodia they should go to prison here

first and then later they can be sent to Hong Kong where we can deal with them later,"

said Richardson.

Hong Kong police believe Chan Yuichun and Chan Hak So are central figures in a sophisticated

human smuggling syndicate which has seen thousands of mainland Chinese illegally

shipped to the US and Europe.

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