Preah Sihanouk administration plans to carry out inspections of several businesses, including casinos, hotels, karaoke and entertainment clubs across the province from January 1. The administration will use the inspections to update its database of business activities and prevent illegal activities, said a December 16 press statement.

Sar Kakada, governor of Sihanoukville, said the update will strengthen the effectiveness of administrative management in his jurisdiction and prevent unlicensed businesses.

He added that officials will review the businesses’ permits and their adherence to instructional letter No. 007 – dated October 7, 2022 – from the provincial administration. It provided guidelines on the management of casinos, hotels, restaurants, condominiums and small businesses in the province.

“In order for the inspections to go smoothly, business owners should prepare the legal documents they require and be ready to cooperate with authorities,” he concluded.

Administration spokesman Kheang Phearom reiterated that inspectors would be checking permits and adherence to the previously issued guidelines.

One of the guidelines in the letter stipulated that all businesses must be identified by clear signage.

Phearom had observed that some commercial premises had been effectively walled off, which made it very difficult for authorities to monitor the sites. This in turn created opportunities for people to commit crimes such as labour or sexual exploitation or human trafficking.