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Top cop says no capacity to convict

A high-ranking police official yesterday bemoaned Cambodia’s lack of capacity to fight cybercrime, just a week after the government’s announcement of a new Anti-Cybercrime Department prompted fears of an online clampdown on dissent.

Citing an evaluation by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime that some Asean nations lack the ability to effectively fight cybercrime, Deputy National Police Chief Chhay Sinarith said Cambodia was among those nations without the money and expertise to investigate crimes committed via the internet.

Sinarith blamed part of the problem on SIM cards being sold without registering the buyer, adding that, due to difficulties in the investigation of “most of crimes related to technology, sometimes the authorities invite [suspects] for interrogation, but there is no charge made”.

Hay Makara, head of Phnom Penh’s Anti-Cybercrime Office said authorities can tackle only a tenth of cybercrime.

Voicing concerns that the government’s anti-cybercrime moves may be abused, CCHR executive director Chak Sopheap said yesterday an independent body must first determine what constitutes such crimes.

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