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Cambodian govt to deport 700 Chinese for alleged cybercrimes | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Cambodia will deport 700 Chinese nationals suspected of running illegal online gambling and scam operations amid a crackdown on cyber criminals operating out of Sihanoukville, a notorious den for organized crime on the south coast.

The Chinese were detained after joint Cambodian-Chinese police operations at the Thmor Yeak Beach Resort and Chan Krasnaa Resort and followed a similar crackdown on Chinese nationals, at the behest of Beijing, in Laos and Myanmar.

CambojaNews quoted a Chinese embassy statement in regards to the deportations that said both governments would cooperate to vigorously pursue criminals until the crime network, allegedly connected to Chinese nationals in Cambodia, is completely eradicated.

More than 40,000 Chinese nationals were deported for similar crimes from Myanmar during the last three months of last year while in Cambodia the latest arrests were the most significant in terms of numbers over the past year.

This is a solid effort, said one Phnom Penh-based analyst, who declined to be named. China has made it clear that it wants an end to these scams and human trafficking which are part and parcel of the operations conducted by criminal syndicates.

Sihanoukville will find it difficult to attract legitimate foreign investment until this issue is resolved, he said.

Cambodian officials have played down this country’s role in human trafficking and scam compounds run by organized crime rings, which erupted during the Covid-19 pandemic and has since spread into neighboring countries, fearing the scourge could frighten off tourists.

On April 6, Sar Sokha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior ordered the Sihanoukville Provincial Administrative to continue its crackdown on all crimes, after 2,000 people were arrested for online crimes in the first quarter of 2024.

More than 250 Indians, forced into running online scams, were rescued a week ago after being duped into accepting false job offers. More than 5,000 Indians are believed trapped in Cambodia after falling for similar offers.

It has come to [our] attention that Indian nationals, lured by fake promises of lucrative job opportunities in Cambodia, are falling into the trap of human traffickers, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in an advisory.

Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Sri Lankans have also been targeted over the last six months with human traffickers looking for alternative recruitment grounds. Another 19 Thais were rescued from similar scam compounds in mid-March.

A UN report, released last year, said that at least 100,000 people were forced to carry out online scams in Cambodia, in an industry worth billions of dollars. Many scams evolve around blackmail and shaming.

Chou Bun Eng, permanent vice-chair of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking, has repeatedly disputed those figures telling pro-government media organizations that 80 percent of human trafficking complaints were false.

The surge in cases, however, has resulted in Cambodia being downgraded on the Trafficking in Persons Report by the United States, to its bottom Tier 3 status due to the government’s failure to meet minimum standards for combating human trafficking.


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