Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Hunt down the masterminds’

‘Hunt down the masterminds’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng addresses action in the fight against human trafficking during a meeting at the ministry on Tuesday. SAR KHENG VIA FACEBOOK

‘Hunt down the masterminds’

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng insisted on Tuesday that law enforcement agencies must leave no stone unturned in the search for the “masterminds” behind human trafficking and bring them to justice without exception.

Sar Kheng was speaking at a meeting on Tuesday at the Ministry of Interior to discuss action in the fight against human trafficking.

“I think the key aim is to find the ringleaders of human trafficking. There is collusion between masterminds in this country and foreign brokers.

“Acquiring real information on trafficking targets is of the utmost importance in order to carry out effective crackdowns and to lay out measures to collaborate effectively with relevant stakeholders,” he said.

Sar Kheng said that last year human trafficking had continued in all its forms, but by assessing past activities and continuing with efforts to prevent and control the trade, significant progress could be made going forward.

“Continue to prosecute and punish offenders. Although we have done that, the problem remains. We want to show the nation and the international community that Cambodia has a strong will to combat human trafficking.

“I am very worried about the provinces that have not taken any real steps to confront the problem and I urge them to work harder,” he said.

Sar Kheng, who is also chairman of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT), said that the government had this year continued to strengthen its fight against human trafficking.

“But authorities must resolutely search for offenders and further crack down on new offences in the country and abroad, in close collaboration with relevant authorities,” he said.

Kheng maintained that the government, through the NCCT, was committed to increasing awareness and implementing the recommendations of bilateral and multilateral agreements such as the Asean and international treaties signed and approved by Cambodia.

Close attention, he said, must be paid at border crossings with Thailand, especially in Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces, which were the most heavily targeted.

Ministry of Interior secretary of state and permanent NCCT deputy chair Chou Bun Eng gave a brief report on human trafficking in the previous year.

He said enforcement teams had cracked down on 134 cases of human trafficking and sexual exploitation last year, compared to 159 cases in 2017.

Bun Eng said 224 suspects had been detained last year, 21 more than in 2017, and over the two years authorities had rescued 575 victims.

Soeung Sen Karuna, spokesman for rights group Adhoc, said law enforcement officers did not always implement the law to their full capacity, leaving ringleaders the chance to continue their crimes.

“We have seen authorities arresting offenders and enforcing the law in the past, but they cannot find a way to apprehend the ringleaders. I think those involved in arrests should push for more information from detainees.

“When intermediaries are arrested, why can’t we find the ringleaders? The intermediaries should know who the ringleaders are,” Sen Karuna said.


  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro