Cambodia has rescued 865 foreigners from human trafficking in 87 cases.
The rescue took place from Jan. 1 to Aug. 20, according to a statement by Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Friday.
“A total of 60 human trafficking suspects in 17 cases has been sent to court,’’ he said.
According to the results of research and interrogation, many of these foreigners were deceived via social media to cross borders illegally into Cambodia, with a promise of high-paying jobs.
“But they were compelled to work at illegal online gambling companies and became victims of human trafficking.
“Criminals had trafficked and transferred them from one company to another, or from one group to another, without their consents; in some cases, they suffered violence and intimidation if they disobeyed the criminals’ orders,’’ the official said.
Sar Kheng, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, condemned acts.
He said that the government was committed to fighting fraudulent acts, telecom scams, illicit drug trade, money laundering and illegal online gambling.
The deputy prime minister said that the rescued victims had been exempted from fines related to their immigration status and had been deported back to their birth countries in accordance with Cambodian law.
Cambodia’s anti-drug police have arrested a foreigner for allegedly possessing and trafficking narcotics, confiscating more than 7 kilograms (kg) drugs, the National Police reported on Thursday.
The 26-year-old man was apprehended during a raid on his condo room in capital Phnom Penh on Monday evening after a probe for several months.
“Some 7.53 kg ecstasy (MDMA) and 10.7 kg chemical substance were seized from the suspect during the raid,” the National Police said on its website.
The Southeast Asian country has no death sentence for a drug trafficker.
Under its law, anyone found guilty of trafficking more than 80 grams of illicit drugs could be jailed for life.
According to the Anti-Drug Police Department, Cambodia nabbed 9,151 drug suspects, including 125 foreigners, between January and July period, confiscating 3.27 tonnes of illicit drugs.
The seized drugs included crystal methamphetamine, methamphetamine pills, ketamine, cathinone, heroin, ecstasy, and cocaine, among others.
BritaBritain on Thursday announced a new round of sanctions targeting military-linked businesses in Myanmar in support of the Southeast Asian country’s Rohingya community and in an effort to limit the military’s access to arms and revenue.
“We continue to stand in solidarity with the Rohingya people and condemn the Myanmar Armed Forces’ horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing,” British Minister for Asia Amanda Milling said in a statement.
Myanmar has been in political and economic chaos since the military overthrew an elected government in early 2021. Myanmar has been in political and economic chaos since the military overthrew the elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in early 2021, followed by a bloody crackdown on protests against the coup.
In spite of the fact that in April 2021 Myanmar’s military rulers had agreed to a five-point plan of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that would restore peace and stability to the country, little effort has been made to implement it.
The State has since slipped into a situation that some have characterised as a civil war.
Efforts by Myanmar’s Southeast Asian neighbours to revive peace have also been hampered by the country’s recent execution of four political activists, including two from the pro-democracy movement.
The Security Council, including allies Russia and China, condemned the executions.
Earlier this month news media said that Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who also serves as special envoy to Myanmar for the 10-member ASEAN, warned that further executions would force the regional group to reconsider how it engages with the country.
In its annual report released in early August, the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Burma found that a growing body of evidence that crimes against humanity were being committed in the country.
Since the military coup, more than 2,100 civilians have been killed and nearly 15,000 arrested, according to news reports.
Ms. Heyzer’s visit comes a day after a court in the military-run State convicted the ousted leader on four extra counts of corruption and added six more years in prison to her previous 11-year sentence.
The UN had no details as to whether Ms. Heyzer will meet with Myanmar’s military rulers or Ms. Suu Kyi – a longtime UN demand.
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Anti-trafficking campaigners in Hong Kong played a harrowing recording on Wednesday of a resident testifying that he has been kidnapped and forced to work for online scam syndicates in Myanmar.
Online “boiler room” scams have long had a presence across Southeast Asia but in recent months more details have emerged of people being trafficked and forced to work for them.
Victims have reported travelling to Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos on false promises of romance or high-paying jobs, and then being detained and forced to work, sometimes for months.
A 30-year-old man identified only as John said he has been trapped in Myanmar for three months and forced to run scams by armed men, according to an audio recording released on Wednesday.
“I have seen people who tried to escape but failed, they were shot and carried back in… escape is not an option,” he said.
“It’s very stressful.
Money comes before everything.
If I cannot meet the (revenue) quota, they may send me someplace else, where conditions could be 10 times worse.
”AFP is unable to independently verify the account which was released by local Hong Kong advocacy group Stop Trafficking of People and human rights lawyer Patricia Ho. John said he travelled to Thailand for a vacation on a friend’s invitation but was kidnapped and taken to Myanmar, where his passport was confiscated.
Hong Kong’s government says so far 39 residents have asked for help since January after falling victim to boiler room scams.
Law enforcement officials have established a task force and called on victims to use a government-run mobile app to submit details and send photos of their surroundings.
John said he was contacted on Tuesday by the Hong Kong task force, but was told the situation was “beyond their control” and must be left to the Chinese government.
He added that a contact from the Chinese embassy in Myanmar told him two months ago to attempt an escape but then stopped responding.
Hong Kong authorities say 21 people are in captivity in Myanmar and Cambodia, while 18 others have been confirmed safe.
Family members of scam victims in Hong Kong have turned to the media and political parties to air their grievances.
Michelle Wong, programme manager of Stop Trafficking of People, said Southeast Asian trafficking rings have increasingly turned their attention to young, educated people of Chinese ethnicity.
“If the government could expose this kind of pattern to the Hong Kong public earlier, then these kinds of cases can be prevented,” Wong told reporters.
Hong Kong police have arrested six people in relation to the scams, some charged with conspiracy to defraud and accused of playing the roles of middlemen.
But rights lawyer Ho argued that the lack of a specific law against human trafficking and forced labour makes it harder for police and prosecutors to do their jobs.
“(The current system) doesn’t necessarily capture the severity of the crime that we’re looking at,” she said on Wednesday.
Abdulla Shahid, the President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Monday praised Cambodia for its significant contribution to keeping peace in the world.
Shahid made the remarks during a courtesy call on Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh. “Cambodia has transformed from a country that received blue helmet troops into a country that sent troops to help keep peace in other countries under the UN umbrella.
“This is a big success and a great change in Cambodia’s image on the international arena,” Shahid said.
According to the National Center for Peacekeeping Forces, Cambodia first sent peacekeepers overseas on the UN peacekeeping missions in 2006. “To date, the country has dispatched a total of more than 8,000 peacekeepers to join UN peacekeeping missions in many war-torn countries,” the National Center for Peacekeeping Forces said.
Meanwhile, Shahid also praised the Southeast Asian nation for its full peace, stability and rapid development and wished the kingdom to achieve its goal of becoming an upper-middle income country by 2030 and a high-income country in 2050. Shahid, who is concomitantly Maldivian foreign minister, also pledged to encourage Maldivian investors to do business in Cambodia, saying that the two countries still have vast room for further cooperation in trade and investment.
For his part, Hun Sen thanked Shahid for his good comments on Cambodia, saying that the kingdom wanted to see Maldivian investment in the agricultural sector, particularly in rice processing for exporting to Maldives.
Shahid arrived in Cambodia on Sunday for a two-day working visit, where he also paid a courtesy call on National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin and met with the Foreign Ministry’s standing secretary of state Ouch Borith.
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help develop Cambodia’s securities sector, said a joint press statement released on Friday.
The MoU was signed between UNCDF Executive Secretary Preeti Sinha and Sou Socheat, director general of the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC), as well as Hong Sok Hour, chief executive officer of the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).
The statement said under the deal, the UNCDF would provide technical assistance to the SERC and the CSX for promoting the development of the securities sector in the Southeast Asian nation.
The UNCDF will provide support for the implementation of institutional capacity development and human capacity development,” the statement said, adding that it would also support the development and regulation of new transboundary products.
“ It would also facilitate south-south exchange and peer learning between the SERC and the CSX and similar regulatory institutions in ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) plus China, Japan and South Korea.
“The UNCDF will also provide support to the SERC and the CSX for further development, adoption, and implementation of related frameworks and laws pertaining to sovereign and non-sovereign securities,” the statement said.
Launched in 2012, the CSX is a joint venture between the Cambodian government holding 55 per cent of stakes and the Korea Exchange owning the remaining 45 per cent.
According to Sok Hour, the CSX has so far received a total of 16 listed companies, including nine equity firms and seven corporate bond firms, collecting a total capital of more than 280 million U.
To date, some 31,000 investors have opened trading accounts at the CSX, he said, adding that about 10 per cent of them are foreign investors.
Cambodia’s Minister of Public Works and Transport, Sun Chanthol has called on people to use electric vehicles (EVs).
The minister said at the biannual meeting of the National Road Safety Committee that the use of EVs in Cambodia has increased significantly, as some 155 new EVs were registered in the first seven months of this year.
He said that in the period of January to July 2022, the ministry had registered 155 EVs, remarkably up from only 11 EVs registered during the same period last year.
“I would like to call on our people to promote the use of EVs and electric motorcycles,” he said.
He added that using EVs reduces expense as charging an EV is much cheaper than filling petrol or diesel, and is eco-friendly.
Chanthol said currently, EV charging stations are available at four locations in the Southeast Asian nation.
He noted that one location is at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in Phnom Penh and the three others are in Preah Sihanouk, Siem Reap and Battambang provinces each.
Cambodia has so far released more than 744 million U.
S. dollars in assistance to some 700,000 COVID-19-affected poor and vulnerable households, a government ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.
The Southeast Asian nation launched the COVID-19 cash transfer programme for the poor and vulnerable households in June 2020. “To date, we have provided a total of 744.6 million U.
S. dollars to them.
Averagely, we spend more than 30 million U.
S. dollars per month,” Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Spokesperson, Touch Channy said.
“As long as the COVID-19 is not over, our cash transfer programme for the poor and vulnerable households will still continue,” he added.
Cambodia recorded 23 new COVID-19 community cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to date to 137,349, with 3,056 deaths recorded.
He also added that the kingdom had seen no new deaths from the pandemic since April.
The number of road fatalities in Cambodia declined to 942 people in the first half of 2022, a decrease of 9 per cent from 1,033 over the same period last year.
The Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Min Manavy has said on Thursday.
“Among the dead, 759, or 80.5 per cent, were motorcyclists, and 558 of them were unhelmeted,’’ she said during the biannual meeting of the National Road Safety Committee.
Besides the death toll, the accidents injured 2,235 others during the January-June period this year, down 31 per cent from 3,227 over the same period last year, she added.
Manavy, who also serves as secretary-general of the National Road Safety Committee, said that 1,609 cases of road accidents had been recorded, down 26 per cent from 2,171 cases.
China’s resilient economy injects more positive energy into global recovery Recovery Phnom Penh, Aug. 17, China’s resilient economy has been injecting more positive energy into the global economic recovery in the post COVID-19 pandemic era, Cambodian experts have said.
The Chinese economy maintained its recovery trend in July with major economic indicators posting steady growths in spite of the domestic COVID-19 outbreaks and heatwaves.
China’s value-added industrial output went up by 3.8 per cent year-on-year in July and 0.38 per cent over June, data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS) indicated.
The official data showed China’s retail sales of consumer goods climbed 2.7 per cent year-on-year in July, with sales of consumption-upgrading goods like jewelry and household appliances expanding fast.
Kin Phea, the Director-General of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that China’s economy remained resilient in spite of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With a series of economic stimulus measures in effect, I foresee that China’s economy will continue to recover strongly in the second half of this year, boosted by the ongoing increases in industrial production and consumption as well as innovation.
“The resilience of the Chinese economy is not only a great boom to China itself, but also to the rest of the world because China has become the stabiliser of global supply chains since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Phea said the sustained and stable recovery of China’s economy had been giving impetus into the recovery of the global economy.
“China has been a locomotive of global growth for decades and there is no doubt that the world’s second largest economy would continue to be the important engine of global growth in decades to come,” he said.
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 2.5 per cent in the first half of this year.
The country’s foreign trade of goods increased by 10.4 per cent year-on-year to 23.6 trillion Yuan (about 3.5 trillion U.
S. dollars) during the period this year, official data showed.
Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said China’s strong trade growth clearly reflected the recovering global trade and economy.
“The growth also proves that China has opened up its market wider for the world and has actively participated in international trade even during the pandemic,” he said.
Matthews said that China had been greatly contributing to the world’s economic development through the Belt and Road Initiative, Digital Slik Road, green economy, and blue economy, among others.
“The only way to bring back the global economy to the pre-pandemic level is to work together as one global economy and one global market,” he said.
Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute, said that the strong growth of China’s exports had resulted from the swift recovery of China’s industries.
“China’s robust growth in exports has not only benefited China itself, but also contributed to promoting global development and prosperity,” Mengdavid said.