Cambodia’s prime minister provided an update on the war against illegal gambling, noting that law enforcement has identified over 1,700 illegal gambling facilities in Phnom Penh and Kandal.
Cambodia Identifies Hundreds of Illegal Facilities
Cambodia is experiencing some serious difficulties with illegal gambling and gambling-related crime. Illegal activities range from unauthorized casino gaming to straight-up human trafficking. The Asian country has been listed on an international human trafficking blacklist which is impacting tourism and is, by extension, ruining the local economy.
In mid-September, Hun Sen, Cambia’s PM, launched a new volley against illegal gambling and fraud. This came a few days after Ros Phearun, secretary general of the Cambodian Gambling Regulatory Committee, asked the government to take up arms against organized crime.
As a result, Khmer Times reported, the Cambodian law enforcement was able to identify over 1,000 illegal gambling hubs in Phnom Penh and 700 more in Kandal.
PM Sen Says Cambodia Needs a Decisive Victory against the Black Market
Prime minister Sen addressed the issue and noted that illegal gambling and the organized crime it links to pose a huge threat to the safety of people in Cambodia. The rampant crime is damaging the country’s reputation, both on a local and on international scale.
PM Sen is concerned by the authorities’ lacking efforts when it comes to taking action against organized crime. He noted that illegal gambling dens tend to sprout out of nowhere and are allowed to flourish, nurtured by the inaction on the law enforcement’s side. Sen questioned whether local authorities want to curb illegal gambling at all.
Regardless of whether local governments want to crack down on the black market or not, PM Sen made it absolutely clear that he would do everything in his power to prevent crime from plaguing the country. In an earlier statement, he warned that he would fire any governors and/or police officers who fail to honestly do their jobs. The PM justified these measures with the situation in the country, which he described as akin to anarchy. Sen believes Cambodia has had enough of this and said that it high is time to adopt a stricter approach.
Cambodia’s problems with illegal gambling are dire, but so is the situation in Thailand. Authorities in the latter country are also working hard to identify illegal gambling facilities. Recently, Thai authorities cracked down on 52 venues across 10 provinces. The police arrested dozens of people who might have helped run the fraudulent operations and seized over $12 million in assets and cash.