Phnom Penh Governor Khoung Sreng said the municipality was half-way through a two-week crack-down on pawn shops in order to prevent the sale of stolen goods at the increasing number of second-hand establishments across the capital.
The crackdown follows a directive from the Ministry of Economy and Finance in June that it was concerned about the increase of pawn shops across the city and was considering setting out clear regulations to control their activities.
Sreng said local authorities would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute those found guilty of operating unlicensed shops or accepting stolen goods. City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey said districts were checking shops to see if they had documentation for all the goods on offer.
“I want the people to support this and encourage this right action rather than expressing unfavourable perceptions,” he said, responding to concerns that City Hall had allowed the illegal pawn shops.
Heng Ly, owner of a pawn shop in Kandal Market in Daun Penh district, said he would be happy if illegal shops were shut down because they were known for selling goods pawned off by thieves.