In a nearly month-long crack down on illegal gambling dens, Cambodian authorities have inspected more than 10,000 suspected locations across the country, according to a National Police spokesman.

At an October 14 press conference, held to summarise the interior ministry’s achievements in the past five years, National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said, “During the gambling crackdown campaign from September 15 to October 13, we investigated more than 10,000 locations in the capital and provinces. Following our enquiries, 127 locations in the capital and provinces have led to prosecutions,” he said.

He said that the police had built cases and sent them to court. The cases concerned 123 people, 56 of whom were foreigners of 11 nationalities. In some locations, officers were unable to secure the evidence required to file a case, but the police had warned the business owners and had them sign contracts confirming they would not become involved in gambling activities.

On the orders of Prime Minister Hun Sen, sub-national level officials and relevant institutions began cracking down on illegal gambling activities, whether lotteries, or underground card games, which often took place in coffee houses or noodle shops.

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng launched the campaign on September 19. At the initial notice of the operation, he referred to gambling as a ‘social cancer’, which required an urgent solution.