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Cambodia Fulfills Gambling Crackdown by Closing over 200 Illegal Businesses

Cambodia Fulfills Gambling Crackdown by Closing over 200 Illegal Businesses

According to the Khmer Times, Cambodian police force spokesperson Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun has been actively cracking down on illegal gambling establishments throughout the country from September 15 to December 27 and will do so again in 2023.

Cambodian Police’s Crackdown Already Shows Results

The police representative stated that they had identified illegal gambling operators and businesses and issued closure orders for venues and websites. If the offenders continued their operations, they faced arrest and court proceedings.

As a result, authorities are already reporting a decrease in illegal gambling activities compared to the beginning of September.

Heng Kimhong, Head of the Cambodian Youth Network Association’sAssociation’s Research and Advocacy Program, noted that there had been a decrease in illegal gambling and fewer arrests in connection with such crimes. However, the authorities should keep up the good work because Cambodia still has a long way to go before eliminating such activities.

Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Crackdown in September.

On September 15, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen issued an official order for the police to identify and thwart all illegal gambling activities in the country. This comes after Cambodia’s international reputation was further damaged by a series of human trafficking cases linked to Cambodia’s thriving illicit market gambling. With tourism being one of the main pillars of Cambodia’s economy, internationally recorded instances of human trafficking have driven tourists to places they consider safer. To remedy this, Prime Minister Sen expressed his determination to eradicate gambling and related crimes: “I have no doubts about removing capital, provincial, district, khan, municipal or police officers at any level who prove irresponsible. The warrant led to many searches, arrests, and charges against the violators.

Cambodia Wants to Be Removed from the FATF Grey List

Cambodia has also recently asked the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to reconsider its inclusion on the grey list. Typically, companies with a high risk of money laundering end up on the grey list.

To demonstrate its commitment to eradicating criminal activity in the gambling sector, the Cambodian police force raided approximately 10,000 illegal gambling establishments in the first month following the Prime Minister’s order. As a result, charges were filed against 127 of the establishments.

New rules on licensed gambling were also implemented, allowing the Cambodian government to track better which operators already have a license and which operate illegally. Cambodia hopes that all of these measures will result in success.

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