Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gambling racket Malaysians will face Cambodian courts

Gambling racket Malaysians will face Cambodian courts

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Malaysians being held in Banteay Meanchey provincial prison on suspicion of running an online gambling and fraud racket. Supplied

Gambling racket Malaysians will face Cambodian courts

Cambodian officials have said that the 47 Malaysians held in Banteay Meanchey provincial prison on suspicion of running an online gambling and fraud racket would have to go through the Cambodian legal system.

The Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday issued a press release regarding the detention of its nationals at the Banteay Meanchey provincial prison since December 11.

Officials at the Malaysian embassy in Phnom Penh said the “detainees were offered jobs with an attractive pay”.

“The Embassy of Malaysia in Phnom Penh has brought this matter to the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia via a diplomatic note to release the detainees,” the press release said, adding that the embassy was closely monitoring the case and providing consular assistance.

A source with knowledge of the case but who asked not to be named said 55 suspects were originally arrested in the police operation in December, including eight Chinese nationals.

The source said the Chinese nationals were later released after being found not to have been involved in the alleged crimes.

The source said the suspects were charged with several offences, including fraud and running an online gambling operation.

“They committed online fraud. Each of them had a telephone to defraud people in other countries, not Cambodia. For example, they told victims that they were the police."

“They lied to victims that a relative of theirs was in danger and so they needed to send [the suspects] money to help,” the source said.

Malaysian media reports said the suspects denied the charges and that Malaysian officials would meet with Cambodian Ministry of Justice officials this week to discuss the case.

However, ministry spokesperson Chin Malin said he did not have information on such a meeting.

Malin said that if found guilty, the suspects would either serve their sentences in Cambodia or be deported to Malaysia by agreement.

“They could be found not guilty, or if the crimes were deemed to be minor, they could be applied under immigration law and be deported."

“The Malaysian embassy can work at the diplomatic level or provide legal assistance such as lawyers to defend their citizens who are having problems in Cambodia."

“But the ultimate decision is dependent on the court, which will rule on the case based on fact, legal provision and evidence,” he said.

Malin denied media reports that the suspects were imprisoned without trial. He said legal proceedings meant a person charged with a crime could not remain free while the court investigated the case.

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does