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US ambassador offers increased help fighting human trafficking in meeting with Sar Kheng

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Interior Minister Sar Kheng (right) meets with US ambassador W. Patrick Murphy on November 4. INTERIOR MINISTRY

US ambassador offers increased help fighting human trafficking in meeting with Sar Kheng

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng reiterated to the US ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy that Cambodia was committed to combating all forms of human trafficking, pointing to the complex nature of the crime today due to technology as one barrier to effective enforcement.

Sar Kheng met with Murphy for talks on November 4 at the interior ministry.

The interior ministry said after the meeting that Murphy had noted that in the recent past there was an increase in criminal activity in Cambodia related to online scams and that some foreign nationals had been trafficked to Cambodia by transnational criminal groups who had lured them with false offers of legitimate work abroad.

Ambassador Murphy informed the minister that the US was ready to provide increased cooperation on this issue and is currently working with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, among others, to help tackle human trafficking crimes.

“As far as political will goes, I can tell you that the Cambodian government is unwaveringly committed to combating these types of crimes. Today the forms that human trafficking take have changed in relation to the use of telecommunications and information technologies, which give these criminal groups greater access and reach,” Sar Kheng told Murphy.

He said that Cambodia is currently also fighting illegal gambling, inspecting foreign workers and combating money laundering and these are crimes that frequently have links to human trafficking.

“Cambodian authorities are carrying out operations to rescue victims and prosecute these criminals and we need to continue to expand our investigations to find out if those crimes are linked to money laundering,” he added.

Sar Kheng nevertheless stressed that such crimes are not only happening in Cambodia, but in many other countries and consequently it required regional and global cooperation to fight them, especially at the law enforcement level.

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