Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged three Chinese nationals who allegedly tried to launder more than $3 million after they brought the money into the Kingdom on Tuesday.
Court prosecutor Ly Sophanna identified the suspects as Wang Shi Ping, Wang Li Chao and Zhang Jian, who were arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport when they flew in with the banknotes.
“Wang Shi Ping, Wang Li Chao and Zhang Jian were charged with money laundering under Articles 3 and 29 of the Law on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism,” he said. “They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.”
Suos Vichearandy, municipal court deputy chief of secretariat, said the investigating judge decided to put the three men into pretrial detention at PJ prison.
On April 26, the Interior Ministry reported that three Chinese nationals were arrested on April 23 for trying to bring in over $3.5 million in cash from Hong Kong into the Kingdom without declaring the source of the money.
The Ministry’s immigration police said the three were carrying $3,520,000 in bundled $100 banknotes upon arrival at the airport.
Lieutenant General Keo Vanthan, spokesman for the General Department of Immigration, said that the suspects confessed they had won the money gambling in Macau and exchanged their winnings into US currency in Hong Kong before coming to Cambodia to do business.
“They were arrested on suspicion that their money was obtained from illegal sources and they wanted to launder it in Cambodia,” he said adding that the seized money had been sent to court as evidence.
Last week, Interior Minister Sar Kheng instructed all provincial police chiefs and immigration police to take more serious action against cross-border crimes and terrorism.
He urged the relevant authorities to maintain regular patrols at international checkpoints, seaports and border crossings and quickly report any irregularities to the ministry.