The National Police has ranked Chinese nationals as the top perpetrators of crime and victims of crime in the country, according to a report obtained by the Khmer Times yesterday.
An annual report on foreigner crime released on December 5 tallied 275 criminal cases, 31 of which were drug-related, an increase when compared to last year’s 142 criminal cases.
The National Police made 1,020 arrests of 37 foreign nationals, including the arrest of 761 Chinese nationals this year thus far, the report noted, followed by 51 Vietnamese nationals who were arrested, 45 Nigerian nationals, 21 South Koreans and 19 Thais.
The report noted that most of the arrests were made in the provinces of Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap, and also in Phnom Penh.
It also said that 704 foreign nationals from 58 different countries were victims of crime, an increase when compared to last year’s 255.
In the report, Chinese victims stand at 237, followed by Vietnamese victims at 50, French victims at 40, British victims at 30, and victims from the United States at 35. It noted that 38 percent of all crimes reported were robberies.
General Thong Lim, deputy chief of the National Police, said in the report that this year police have received a total of 33 complaints from foreign embassies in Cambodia, noting that 13 have been resolved.
“Some complaints are still under investigation because some suspects fled,” Gen Lim said. “Police are still in contact with the embassies in order to cooperate and solve problems.”
Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun, spokesman for the National Police, yesterday said a growing foreign population has also brought an increase in criminal cases.
“Economic development and investment have attracted more and more foreign investors and tourists, so crimes are likely to emerge,” Lt Gen Kim Khoeun said. “It is not strange that the Chinese nationals committed the most crimes because there are many Chinese in the country now.”
An estimated 1.5 million Chinese tourists have visited Cambodia this year, up from1.2 million last year, according to a report by the Tourism Ministry.
Gen Kim Khoeun said the Interior Ministry created a taskforce in September to provide additional support to Preah Sihanouk provincial police officials to crack down on crimes following an influx of Chinese nationals.
In October, the taskforce reported that Chinese investments have also brought Chinese criminal organisations to set up networks.
Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin yesterday said foreign nationals lack understanding of Cambodian laws.
“If we look at it in a positive way, crimes increased possibly because of more crackdowns. Cambodian police are potentially aware of the crimes taking place,” Mr Malin said. “Another thing is that most foreigners do not understand Cambodian laws, so they are prone to fall into committing illegal actions.”