Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun issued an order to the Provincial Administrative Unity Command to identify and inspect all legal and illegal business locations where allegations of torture or human trafficking had been made.

Chamroeun issued the order during a meeting of the Unity Command on September 17, which was attended by the deputy governor and officials from all branches of law enforcement and the judiciary.

“Today’s meeting is to review our experience in dealing with cases of human trafficking and to follow the orders of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has commanded a crack down on all kinds of illegal gambling sites across the Kingdom,” he said.

He added that when crimes of this nature were detected, the victims should be rescued and the perpetrators should be convicted.

“If one of our teams discovers that staff are being detained and forced to work, offenders will be fined 2,620,000 riel. If employees are forced to work overtime, offenders will be fined 1,680,000 riel, according to the labour law,” he said.

Chamroeun advised that the authorities should make sure that their teams are clearly defined. They should assign different groups specific tasks, with one to inspect security camera footage, one to take minutes and write up reports, and so on.

“I will assign four deputy provincial governors to lead operations. The military police will be responsible for inspecting suspicious sites,” he said.

He said that support will also be provided with ambulances and fire trucks and that guidance would be sought from Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, Minister of Interior.

“Each operation will require procedural coordination with court prosecutors. They must identify the legal and illegal business locations in advance. In the future, we will also have to inspect any and all locations where allegations of torture have been made,” he said.

On September 12, Sar Kheng chaired a meeting to review the fight against all forms of labour and sex trafficking in Preah Sihanouk province. The meeting was attended by Say Samal, Minister of Environment and chairman of the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Working Group, and Koeut Rith, Minister of Justice.

Sar Kheng called for support and participation in this important work and said the Ministry of Interior had received 186 complaints of trafficking.

“The provincial administration and all stakeholders in Preah Sihanouk must continue in their efforts to crack down on all forms of human trafficking, adhering to the three principles of the operation: rescue victims, crack down on crime sites and arrest the perpetrators and their bosses. This is critical to protecting security, social order and the national honour,” he said.