Cambodians forced to work at illegal casino in Sihanoukville

Cambodia continues its fight against cross-border crimes.
Cambodia continues its fight against cross-border crimes.

Three Cambodian citizens were held against their will by a human trafficker and forced to work at an illegal casino in Sihanoukville.

Cambodia.- Cambodia continues tackle human trafficking connected to the illegal gambling sector. Two women and one man have been released after being forced to work in an illegal casino in Sihanoukville for at least two months.

According to a report by Radio Free Asia, the three people were tempted by a false promise of a well-paid job by a trafficker who said he would pay them $1,000 to go to Sihanoukville. However, after they arrived they found their salary would be much lower, and when they tried to quit, the trafficker prohibited them from leaving and imposed a one-year contract on them.

The trafficker threatened that if the three captives refused to sign and fulfill their contractual obligations, they would be “sold” to other companies. According to Radio Free Asia, between March and October, at least 437 people became victims of human trafficking and were forced to work in the illegal online gambling industry. 

In September, China and Cambodia renewed their existing cooperation agreement on cross border gamblingChina’s minister of public security and Cambodia’s interior minister agreed to continue tackling cross-border crimes, including illegal online gambling. When the first agreement was signed, in March 2019, Cambodia banned online gambling.

The China-Cambodia Law Enforcement Cooperation Office said: “Chinese police and Cambodian police are looking for a way to resolve the problem.

“It is every police officer’s responsibility to crack down on crimes of this nature which are particularly horrific. Our government has a very strict policy to crack down on such crimes. It is a key task for our police to stop this from occurring and we are cooperating with police internationally.”

Cambodia sets requirements for new and existing casinos

Hun Sen, Cambodia’s Prime Minister, has set new minimum capital requirements for future and existing casinos. According to local media reports, Decree No. 166 establishes a minimum capital requirement of KHR800bn (US$200m) for integrated commercial gambling centres and KHR400bn for other gambling venues.

The government has been studying how to better regulate the industry and ban online gambling business, which was made illegal in 2020. Casinos that cannot meet the new capital requirements will not obtain a new business licence.

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