The Interior Ministry yesterday warned that it will take strict action against police officers who falsify documents to enable foreigners to obtain Cambodian citizenship.
Sok Phal, a ministry secretary of state, issued the warning during a General Department of Immigration meeting to review administrative documents issued to foreigners living in Cambodia between January and March.
He noted that Interior Minister Sar Kheng had ordered ministry officials to take action against any police officer found to have provided irregular documents to foreigners.
“Based on the immigration law or criminal code, any person who provides falsified documents to foreigners can be jailed for five to ten years,” Mr Phal said. “Since 2014, disciplinary or court action has been taken against 25 police officers who have either provided false documents for foreigners to become citizens or allowed foreigners to enter the Kingdom illegally.”
According to a report issued after yesterday’s review, from January 1 to March 30, authorities revoked 35,441 irregular administrative documents issued to 68,017 foreigners living in the country.
Lieutenant General Keo Vanthan, a spokesman for the department, yesterday urged local officials to ensure that administrative documents are only provided to Cambodian people.
He gave an example of a Cambodian woman who married a Vietnamese man and had children.
Lt Gen Vanthan said officials should only provide the documents to the woman and the children, because they are Cambodian citizens, and not to the husband.
“So please our local officials do not provide administrative documents to foreigners who have not obtained a royal decree to become citizens,” he said.
Department director General Kirth Chantharith yesterday appealed to the department’s police officers to cooperate with police officers in the capital, provinces and districts to tackle the problem of foreigners living in the Kingdom illegally.
In January, the GDI reported that immigration officials revoked 35,001 invalid documents used by 67,494 foreigners and their family members, noting that they hailed from nine different countries with the majority from Vietnam.
The documents included family books, residence books, birth and marriage certificates, Cambodian ID cards and passports.
The GDI report noted that police also found 7,066 counterfeit documents used by 9,483 foreigners.