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Gov’t steps up efforts in tackling dirty money

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Two South Koreans were nabbed by immigration police at Siem Reap International Airport on Sunday when attempting to bring more than $2 million in cash into Cambodia from Hong Kong. Police

Gov’t steps up efforts in tackling dirty money

A senior Ministry of Interior official said on Tuesday that specialised police forces are taking tougher measures to investigate, prevent and stop money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Ministry of Interior secretary of state and Review Panel Group head Ngy Chanphal said: “We have achieved some of our goals, but the tasks ahead are still more challenging and we will continue on.”

Deputy National Police chief Chhay Sinarith said joint efforts between the authorities and international institutions to launch in-depth investigations into criminal offences have been successful.

“We have recently carried out many operations. We’ve found and stopped money laundering cases and have taken strong-armed measures. We are seeing a lot of positive results,” Sinarith said.

He said Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has instructed all relevant law enforcement officials to pay great heed to the tasks.

The authorities have been seeking experienced international partners and institutions to cooperate and provide assistance in human resources training, investigations and crackdowns on money laundering cases, according to Sinarith.

He told The Post on Tuesday that the authorities had launched joint investigations with the relevant countries into cases of foreigners bringing substantial amounts of money into Cambodia.

On April 23, the Immigration and General Department of Customs and Excise officials at Phnom Penh International airport arrested three Chinese nationals attempting to bring $3.52 million into the Kingdom from Hong Kong without being able to identify its source.

On May 29, a Chinese man travelling from Hong Kong was detained at the Phnom Penh International Airport and nearly $1 million was confiscated by the authorities.

On Sunday, Two South Koreans were nabbed by immigration police at the Siem Reap International Airport when attempting to bring more than $2 million in cash into Cambodia from Hong Kong.

But despite all these achievements, Adhoc spokesperson Soeung Sen Karuna said the government’s efforts to crack down on money laundering are not effective enough.

“We want to know whether the government has a system in place to manage casinos or to control real estate holdings or not. We’ve observed that there are many Chinese nationals who bring money into Cambodia to be laundered. But we don’t know the source of the money,” he said.

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