Immigration police arrested 66 foreigners in just two days in late September for entering and staying in Cambodia illegally, and who had since been deported in accordance with the immigration law.
Keo Vanthan, deputy head of the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI), said on September 27 that 64 were Thai, 25 of whom were female, with one Indian national and one Nigerian.
They were deported from the Kingdom of Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport and the Poipet international border checkpoint. They were now banned from entering Cambodia for three years
Vanthan said all 66 foreigners were arrested in connection with the offences of illegally crossing the border without a passport, illegally staying in the country, overstaying visas and using irregular passports in violation of the immigration law.
Since the beginning of January until September 23, the GDI had deported a total of 1,450 foreigners of 32 nationalities, 279 of them women, he added.
Vanthan said on September 28 that 21 of the 41 Chinese nationals whose boat sank between Poysareung and Koh Tang in Preah Sihanouk on September 22 had been rescued by Cambodian authorities.
Suspected of illegally entering Cambodia, they were being questioned before facing the procedures for deportation where necessary.
Meas Ny, a social development researcher, welcomed the enacting of the Cambodia immigration law.
"However, we observe that the enforcement of the immigration law still has a lot of cracks allowing criminals to use Cambodia as a base.
"We ask the authorities to tighten the issue of illegal immigration without exception,” he said.