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.


  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • PP residents urged to use public transport

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has urged Phnom Penh residents to use the capital’s existing public transport services rather than private vehicles, as it is leading to increased traffic congestion. He also called for the city’s public bus system to

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Sierra Leone potential new market for export of Cambodian milled rice

    Sierra Leone plans to import milled rice from Cambodia for domestic consumption. The request was made when the visiting Sierra Leone Ambassador to China Ernest Ndomahina met Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak on Wednesday at the ministry. Ndomahina said his country’s agricultural sector