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Over 1,500 foreigners deported last year

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Police oversee the deportation of foreign criminals. Heng Chivoan

Over 1,500 foreigners deported last year

The authorities deported 1,533 foreign nationals from 63 countries last year over various offences, according to a report presented during the General Department of Immigration Congress on Thursday.

The report, tabled during the congress to review last year’s work and set plans for 2020, showed that the 1,013 Chinese nationals who were deported, topped the list of foreigners who committed crimes and were sent home.

They were followed by Thais (220), Vietnamese (149), Nigerians (94), Indians (31), South Koreans (25) and Americans (17).

The crimes foreigners committed included extortion, online gambling, passport breaches, visa breaches and drug crimes.

“Cambodia is no different from other countries in the region and other developed countries. The presence of illegal aliens always emerges.

“Cases including entry into the Kingdom without legal paperwork, staying without passports, exceeding visa limits and escaping legal punishment in other countries,” it said.

It noted that 890 people were deported for online gambling, which has been banned in the Kingdom. Others were sent back for not having passports (242), expired visas (126) and drug crimes (200).

Since its establishment in 2014, the department has overseen the deportation of 16,200 foreigners due to the crimes mentioned, it noted.

“Enforcement measures have been taken to improve visa grants and renewals,” it said.

The department also said that to protect Cambodians from being trafficking abroad, last year the Ministry of Interior checked and verified foreign nationals who proposed marriage to 1,928 Cambodians.

The department also noted that 538 criminal offences were committed by 1,802 foreigners last year.

Department director-general Kirth Chantharith said during the congress that local authorities had also refused entry to a US national after they were advised that he posed a threat to the US embassy.

He said the US informed Cambodian authorities that the man could bomb the embassy and so when he landed, they immediately sent him back to the US.

“The actual situation did not arise. It was just the information we received from the US, saying that if the person entered the Kingdom, it could be insecure for the US Embassy.

“He had a bad intention. Therefore, we did not allow the man to enter the Kingdom. When the person arrived, we let him go back. He arrived at our entrance gate, and we refused him entry.”

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