Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nearly 1,000 ‘gangsters’ netted nationwide

Nearly 1,000 ‘gangsters’ netted nationwide

Nearly 1,000 ‘gangsters’ netted nationwide

POLICE have disrupted the activities of some 920 “gangsters” nationwide in the first six months of the year, according to statistics provided by an Interior Ministry official yesterday, continuing a crackdown first ordered by Prime Minister Hun Sen in June 2009.

Chea Bunthol, deputy director of the ministry’s Penal Department, said that the number of cases of gangsterism had increased to 332 from 251 during the same period, but that the number of individual gangsters had fallen from 1,434.

“We have actively operated the crackdown on gangsters from across the country,” he said.

“But the crackdown was done in a polite way. We let the gangsters get re-educated up to two times, but if they still ignore our education, they will be sent to court for further investigation straight away.”

A total of 79 cases involving 150 alleged gangsters had been sent to court so far this year, he added.

Asked to explain how police identified gangsters, he said: “We can tell when we see them that they are gangsters, often because they are teenagers riding their bikes very fast, or gathering for drug-taking in guesthouses or other public places. Or there are groups of people using samurai swords in dance celebrations, gambling, not going to school, etc.”

Though Chea Bunthol called the crackdown a “big success”, Chan Soveth, a senior investigator for the rights group Adhoc, had a different take.
“We are not so proud that local authorities have cracked down on these 332 cases, because there is no prevention,” he said.

“Local authorities should use their power to give them better educations, employment opportunities and professional training so they can become good citizens.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading