Briefs: PM Says Election Win Shows People Want CPP, Sar Kheng Warns of Drug Money

2 min read
Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin release doves at a CPP anniversary celebration in Phnom Penh on June 28, 2022. (Hun Sen’s Facebook page)
[responsivevoice_button voice="US English Female"]

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday the people want the CPP to continue to lead the country, saying this was illustrated by the party’s victory at the June commune election.

The prime minister was speaking at the 71st anniversary of the CPP which was attended by senior party members, embassy representatives, government-leaning NGOs and party supporters. 

Hun Sen said the people were happy to vote for the CPP as evidenced by its impressive showing at the commune election, adding that he expected a similar result at next year’s national election.

“Cambodian People’s Party continues to unwaveringly walk on the path of multiparty democracy and the rule of law that is in line with the context of Cambodian society and solely responds to sacred wishes of the people.”

He added that    the ruling party was committed to defeating the “extremist opposition” and “ill-intentioned people.”

The CPP government has been criticized by opposition leaders and rights groups for turning Cambodia into a de facto one-party state after the Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP in 2017. The ruling party has balked at this criticism and maintained that Cambodia is still a multiparty democracy. 

— Ouch Sony

Sar Kheng Asks Officials to Follow the Drug Money

Interior Minister Sar Kheng warned officials on Sunday that Cambodia was precariously placed on the gray list of a money laundering watchdog and needed to weed out these crimes or risk being blacklisted. 

The interior minister spoke at a June 26 anti-drug event where officials burned counterfeit drugs on Koh Pich in Phnom Penh. Kheng said authorities were failing to root out criminal activity or locate the money that was used by criminal organizations.

He added that failure to act on these crimes would effectively risk Cambodia’s national bank being blacklisted. The country is already on the gray list of the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental task force that creates anti-money laundering policies and acts as a watchdog. 

“Sometime, drug dealers transfer the money into a bank, so it makes the bank become gray — if we let it happen any more, the bank will become a black bank,” Kheng said. “If the national bank becomes blacklisted, all other banks will become blacklisted and if they are blacklisted, it is interpreted as that we can not use the money.”

He added that authorities had closed roughly 6,300 cases, arrested 13,979 people and confiscated just less than 4.7 tons of drugs in 2021. In comparison, police investigated 10,461 cases, arrested 21,566 people and confiscated almost 3.9 tons of drugs in 2020.

Apart from the drugs themselves, the government last year also seized 84 tons of precursor chemicals, marking a significant rise from previous years.

— Ouch Sony

VOD. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission. VOD is not responsible for any infringement in all forms. The perpetrator may be subject to legal action under Cambodian laws and related laws.