Cambodia police have raided more than 10,000 suspected illegal gambling establishments and taken legal action against 127 of them, authorities have revealed.
As reported by The Khmer Times, National Police spokesman Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun stated late last week that the raids had taken place over the course of a month following a recent order from Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen to crackdown on all forms of illegal gambling.
“From September 15 to October 13, authorities raided the suspected locations and took legal action against 127 locations,” Kham said.
“Authorities have collected evidence to send to court and build a case against 273 people, including 56 foreigners representing 11 nationalities.”
The Lieutenant General added that many locations had not been charged due to the lack of concrete evidence but that owners of these establishments had been required to sign contracts specifying that they would not engage in illegal gambling activities.
The Prime Minister’s recent order had been given in response to an increase in reported cases of human trafficking and kidnappings linked to the rampant casino industry in the Southeast Asian country, with 56 Vietnamese workers fleeing a casino in Bavet in mid-September. A similar instance in which around 40 detained workers fled across the Cambodia-Vietnam border made headlines only weeks earlier.
Asked by The Khmer Times about the sudden crackdown, Head of Research and Advocacy Programme of Cambodian Youth Network Association (CYN) Heng Kimhong explained, “Cambodia has had a law governing gambling for a long time, but the authorities have been unwilling to crack down on illegal gambling at all.
“In order to effectively prevent illegal gambling, authorities must fully implement the law, especially bringing to justice the ringleaders.”