Cambodia: Govt. discusses actions to fight against human trafficking and masterminds must be brought to justice

Author: Dara Voun, The Phonh Penh Post, Published on: 24 April 2019

"‘Hunt down the masterminds’", 24 April 2019

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng insisted … that law enforcement agencies must leave no stone unturned in the search for the “masterminds” behind human trafficking and bring them to justice without exception…

“I think the key aim is to find the ringleaders of human trafficking. There is collusion between masterminds in this country and foreign brokers.

“Acquiring real information on trafficking targets is of the utmost importance in order to carry out effective crackdowns and to lay out measures to collaborate effectively with relevant stakeholders,” he said…

Sar Kheng, who is also chairman of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT), said that the government had this year continued to strengthen its fight against human trafficking.

“But authorities must resolutely search for offenders and further crack down on new offences in the country and abroad, in close collaboration with relevant authorities,” he said…

Ministry of Interior secretary of state and permanent NCCT deputy chair Chou Bun Eng gave a brief report on human trafficking in the previous year.

He said enforcement teams had cracked down on 134 cases of human trafficking and sexual exploitation last year, compared to 159 cases in 2017.

Bun Eng said 224 suspects had been detained last year, 21 more than in 2017, and over the two years authorities had rescued 575 victims.

Soeung Sen Karuna, spokesman for rights group Adhoc, said law enforcement officers did not always implement the law to their full capacity, leaving ringleaders the chance to continue their crimes.

“We have seen authorities arresting offenders and enforcing the law in the past, but they cannot find a way to apprehend the ringleaders. I think those involved in arrests should push for more information from detainees..."

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