The Interior Ministry has revoked nearly 10,000 irregular documents being used by foreigners living in Cambodia in two months since November.
Lieutenant General Keo Vanthan, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry’s immigration general department, said yesterday that his immigration police had revoked a number of different kinds of paperwork used by foreigners, which contravene official procedures and laws.
“We have revoked 9,934 documents, including family books, residence books, birth certificates, marriage certificate, ID cards, and passports from 6,244 families of foreigners living in the country,” Lt Gen Vanthan said.
He added these illegal documents were mainly being used by Vietnamese and Lao nationals.
Last year, the Interior Ministry began a campaign to maintain an up-to-date national census, which showed more than 76,000 foreigners live in Cambodia. They were comprised of 20 different nationalities and many were said to have “irregular” documents that authorities had to deal with.
Lt Gen Vanthan said the ministry would review all paperwork held by foreigners, adding that many of those with “irregular” documents were used by Vietnamese nationals.
Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a sub-decree in August to crackdown on immigrants holding illegal or irregular paperwork to live, work and vote in the country.
The sub-decree said the Interior Ministry had been authorised to revoke the documents, and any foreigner who continued to use the irregular documents or any person who forged documents would be punished according to the law.
“Any foreigner who continues to use improper Cambodian administrative documents or any person who secretly conspires, cheats or continues to provide improper Cambodian administrative documents to foreigners shall be liable and punished,” said the sub-decree.
In an effort to improve law enforcement, the Interior Ministry has created 14 working groups across the country to check and revoke documents used by foreigners.
“The revoking was carried out following immigration law and the government’s sub-decree,” Lt Gen Vanthan said.
Last year, the government’s crackdown against offending foreigners resulted in 2,357 immigrants being deported and barred permanently from the kingdom, comprising 51 nationalities, but the vast majority – 1,220 – were Vietnamese.
Since April 2014, when the government established the general department of immigration, nationwide statistics show that 14,018 foreigners from 85 countries have been deported and permanently barred from entry into the kingdom.
Of them, more than 10,000 were Vietnamese nationals.