A working group from the Ministry of Justice is disseminating the contents of the laws on “Combatting the Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” and “Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism” to bring Cambodia into compliance with the conditions set forth in the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).

Chiv Song Hak – ministry secretary of state and co-chair of the ad-hoc sub-committee to enforce the APG action plan – presided over the workshop held on February 24 -26 and attended by 100 relevant officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Ministry of Commerce; and representatives of the Non-Bank Financial Services Authority (NBFSA), Commercial Gambling Control Commission, and National Police’s Central Security Department.

Song Hak told The Post on February 27 that his working group is in charge of implementing activities related to dissemination of the law’s contents to individuals who are non-reporting entities as determined under the laws.

“The dissemination of these two laws are targeted at mentoring institutions such as the commission to control commercial gambling, which has the authority to control the operations of commercial gambling businesses in Cambodia. So, our first training sessions are for monitoring officials so that they will further train about enforcement of the laws to the reporting entities under their supervision,” he said.

According to Song Hak, the training is to fulfill the conditions set by APG which require Cambodia to disseminate information on the laws to law enforcement officials and provide training to the private sector operating in the Kingdom.

“We will train all entities that are relevant to make them spread the word about the laws further to the private sector,” he said, adding that on February 28 the working group will hold another workshop with other government entities that have not yet attended.

Justice ministry spokesman Chin Malin said the dissemination of the laws was based on three mechanisms. Firstly, it is done through training on the two laws and secondly through strengthening the capacity and human resources of the institutions in charge of preventing the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as anti-money laundering and terrorism financing.

The third focus, he said, is law enforcement by focusing on enforcement actions taken by the judicial police, relevant authorities and the courts.

He noted that the working group of the sub-committee to enforce the APG action plan is led by justice minister Koeut Rith, who he said has been working hard to accelerate the stepped-up enforcement of anti-money laundering laws in order to improve Cambodia’s rating in this area when evaluated by international bodies and other countries’ agencies.

Malin said APG will hold an assembly and will make an evaluation on the status of Cambodia at that time. The Kingdom is currently placed on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and improving in this area would bring added investments and other benefits while discouraging the presence of internationally organised criminal activity in Cambodia, he said.