The National Police detained 105 Chinese nationals including 10 women on Monday for their suspected involvement in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scams and living in the country without proper documentation.
The suspects were detained after authorities conducted a raid at the Suntown Commercial Building in Sen Sok’s district O’Bek Ka’am commune in Phnom Penh, a statement issued on its website by the National Police said.
Its spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post on Tuesday that some of the suspects were wanted in China for crimes committed there.
“I cannot share exactly what crimes they engaged in since we are currently questioning them, but the 105 Chinese nationals will surely be deported to their country of origin at the end of procedures. Some of the suspects are wanted in China for crimes committed there,” he said.
Police confiscated 191 mobile phones, four laptops, two tablets, a car, and 47 passports as evidence.
Vattanac Mongkul, the director of the National Police’s Department of Investigation and Procedure, led the operation in cooperation with Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Seng Heang.
Department of Immigration spokesperson Ath Bunny said he had not received a report regarding the arrests as National Police chief Neth Savoeun was leading investigations.
On August 28, China’s Ministry of Public Order deployed two aircraft to assist in the deportation of 150 Chinese nationals from Phnom Penh after they were arrested for VoIP-related crimes.
On August 18, the government issued a directive halting the issuance of licences for online gambling, stating that such operations had provided foreign nationals with the opportunity to secretly run online money extortion scams.
San Chey, the executive director of NGO Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, implored the authorities to investigate whether the high number of Chinese nationals who immigrated to Cambodia was protected by corrupt officials.
“The negligence of our authorities has allowed Chinese citizens to commit crimes even after they were checked on time and time again. They live differently from other foreigners . . . they live in packs in condos and villas,” said Chey.