There were 376 crimes – with most involving immigration – committed by 1,771 foreigners across the Kingdom in 2017, according to the Interior Ministry.
Lieutenant General Por Pheak, director-general of the Interior Ministry’s general secretariat, said there were 287 cases of immigration crimes involving 1,103 foreigners and 89 cases of penal crimes involving 668 foreigners.
“Foreigners committed 376 crimes involving 1,771 people, including 287 immigration crimes involving 1,103 people and 89 penal crimes involving 668 people,” he said during the Interior Ministry’s annual meeting yesterday, which continues today.
Lt Gen Pheak said foreigners were also the victims in 68 cases last year, including traffic accidents, violence, bag snatching and theft.
He added that 119 foreigners died in the Kingdom in 2017, with 81 dying from disease, 13 committing suicide, 11 dying in traffic accidents, one from murder, and 13 others dying in other incidents.
Lieutenant General Uk Heisela, director of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Immigration, said yesterday that he was only aware of crimes concerning immigration.
“Most foreigners involved with immigration crimes are Vietnamese and Chinese nationals,” he said, declining to elaborate in detail.
Lt Gen Pheak also said that in 2017 the Interior Ministry conducted a census of foreigners living in Cambodia and found there are 176,812 people from a total of 46,776 families.
Of those, 73,397 foreigners from 20,218 families were found to possess irregular documents.
A report tabled at the annual meeting yesterday said that the ministry was working hard to seize any irregular documents held by foreigners.
In 2017, according to the report, a total of 1,885 foreigners from 47 nationalities were arrested and deported.
“As before, we implemented the immigration law to arrest and deport many foreigners from Cambodia but observed that some foreigners, especial Vietnamese nationals, still continue to enter Cambodia illegally,” the report said.
More than 100,000 foreigners of about 160,000 working in Cambodia did not have work permits in 2017, according to figures announced during a meeting between the interior and labour ministries on March 1.
Seng Sakada, director-general of the Labour Ministry’s general department of labour, said in the meeting that 160,077 foreigners from 93 countries were working in the Kingdom, adding 100,346 of the workers were Chinese nationals.
“Most of them are Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Thai, Indonesian, Taiwanese, Malaysian, South Korean, Indian and British nationals,” Mr Sakada said.
General Sok Phal, director-general of the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Immigration, said foreigners would have until the Khmer New Year to obtain their work permits, which cost about $100 per year.
“If they have still not paid for their work permits, they will face imprisonment from three to six months and then we will deport them,” he said. “All foreigners who come to work in Cambodia must have work permits and paperwork from the Labour Ministry.”