Police raid over 10,000 gambling dens nationwide

Khmer Times
Police raid over 10,000 gambling dens nationwide
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The past month has seen police crackdown on more than 10,000 illegal gambling sites and arrests of  over 200 people who were sent  to the court, the National Police confirmed.

Speaking at a press conference on “The achievements of the Ministry of Interior over the past five years” on Thursday, National Police spokesman Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun said that authorities had raided more than 10,000 suspected illegal gambling operations nationwide, enforcing the law at 127 locations in 11 provincial capitals and other areas and sending 273 people to court.

“From September 15 to October 13, authorities raided the suspected locations and took legal action against 127 locations,” he said.

“Authorities have collected evidence to send to court and build a case against 273 people, including 56 foreigners representing 11 nationalities,” Lt Gen Kham Khoeun said.

He added that the other locations under suspicion of illegal gambling didn’t have enough concrete evidence to build a case, but authorities instructed the establishments’ owners and made them sign a contract not to engage in gambling or they will face the law.

Head of Research and Advocacy Programme of Cambodian Youth Network Association (CYN) Heng Kimhong said yesterday that the current crackdown on illegal gambling was ordered and followed government guidelines.

He added that the authorities willingly carried out the crackdowns and have tried their best to identify the masterminds behind the illegal gambling dens.

“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,” he said.

Kim Hong added that illegal gambling is a major cause of social unrest and crime in Cambodia.

“In order to effectively prevent illegal gambling, authorities must fully implement the law, especially bringing to justice the ringleaders,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen recently ordered a strict crackdown on the scourge of “anarchic” illegal gambling nationwide and warned of reprimanding officials who fail to implement his instructions.

He also said that unlicensed gambling did not benefit the national economy, but instead led to gambling addiction and people forced to sell their property such as cows, buffaloes or houses because of illegal gambling.

The premier also ordered the closure of all cafes, noodle shops and all locations which allowed gambling.