The police are setting up a working group and an action plan to crack down on money laundering, National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said on Monday, after another senior police officer said in early June that the offence had increased in the first half of this year.
“The police’s measures have not been effective. We are going to strengthen our enforcement, and not only at border crossings,” Kim Khoeun said.
He said the authorities’ suspicions had been raised further recently regarding money laundering, but he was unable to provide details.
Ministry of Interior central security department director and deputy National Police chief Dy Vichea told The Post on June 5 that money laundering offences had increased in an intertwined and complex manner.
He said this year, the authorities had seized $4 million in cash at Phnom Penh International Airport. During the same period, he said, approximately $10 million of dirty money had been detected flowing through banks.
Vietnam’s online newspaper VN Express International reported last Tuesday that border guards in An Giang province stopped a suspicious-looking motorboat entering Vietnam from Cambodia the previous day and found $470,000 on board.
It said the two men on board left the boat and fled back over the Cambodian border. In the boat, the border guards discovered a nylon bag wrapped in duct tape with the money inside in dollars.
Both Kim Khoeun and Kandal provincial police chief Eav Chamroeun said they were unaware of the case.
On April 28, three Chinese nationals were charged with money laundering after they were caught attempting to bring more than $3.5 million into the Kingdom.
They were caught smuggling wads of $100 notes amounting to $3,520,000 in their bags at the Phnom Penh International Airport after arriving from Hong Kong on April 23.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said this sort of money could not be transferred via a bank, because banks set goals to prevent money laundering.
In February, global money-laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force placed Cambodia on its “grey list” after it found what it called “significant deficiencies” that left the country vulnerable to flows of hidden illegal money.
National Bank of Cambodia director-general Chea Serey could not be reached for comment on Monday.