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Authorities told to watch out for foreigners from lockdown areas

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Authorities lock down the main road leading to Takmao town in Kandal province. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

Authorities told to watch out for foreigners from lockdown areas

The Ministry of Interior held an online meeting on April 26 to discuss efforts to suppress human trafficking and the illegal transport of foreigners from lockdown areas in light of the government ban on cross-border travel.

The meeting was chaired by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, with the participation of most of the interior ministry’s top leadership, including police officials.

Por Pheak, secretary-general of the interior ministry, told The Post that the meeting was to find ways to prevent illegal border crossings both internationally and to a lesser extent inter-provincially while Cambodia is struggling to contain its Covid outbreak.

"The discussion was about trafficking humans across borders during the Covid-19 outbreak. But of course, we focused mainly on smuggling people across international borders," he said.

Pheak said that as a result of the meeting the ministry will prepare a document with instructions and recommendations for the authorities at the border that will help to prevent these illegal activities.

"I can only say that during this period of Covid lockdowns and tightened restrictions we are still receiving information about people possibly crossing the border, despite all that. Due to that reason, we organized this meeting to address this problem," he said.

According to Pheak, this week the ministry will officially announce the implementation of these instructions after they receive final approval from Sar Kheng.

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