THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam.
The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the VoIP scam which operated in four locations in Takeo province’s Tram Kak and Bati districts.
Uk Hai Seila, the director of investigations at the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration, told The Post on Thursday that the 235 would be deported and handed over to Chinese authorities for them to begin legal procedures in that country.
He stressed that while the government welcomes foreign investment in Cambodia, it will not tolerate those who commit crimes.
The Cambodian authorities, he said, will follow normal legal procedures without exception. This is the eighth time this year that the Kingdom has deported people found guilty of VoIP scams.
“I would like to invite all Cambodians to cooperate with the authorities. If you suspect foreigners of committing crimes in rented office complexes, houses, guesthouses, clubs or other locations, please report it to the police and it will take action,” Hai Seila said.
The Anti-terrorism and Transnational Crimes Department at the ministry cooperated with Takeo provincial police under the order of National Police chief Neth Savoeun.
A subsequent order from the Takeo provincial prosecutor resulted in raids and the arrest of the 235 Chinese nationals in four locations in Takeo province.
Sixty people were detained in Bos Tapong village, Trapaing Kranhoung commune, Tram Kak district. Ten scammers were arrested in Bos Tapong village, while the third and fourth raids took place in Bati district.
Police seized 70 people in Taing Doung village, while a further 90 were arrested in Prey Kay village in the same Taing Doung commune.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said said deportation must continue since people are still able to come to Cambodia to look for opportunities to commit offences.
“They are spoiling the reputation of other Chinese nationals who are responsible and have properly invested millions of dollars in Cambodia,” he said.
In a report by the ministry’s General Department of Immigration issued on Thursday, Cambodia has deported 755 Chinese nationals, of which 150 were women.