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Ban on foreign security guards after S’Ville violence

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
Officials say the Cambodian workforce is more than capable of supplying enough guards to the sector. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Police has cautioned private security firms against recruiting foreigners as security guards, stressing that the practice is forbidden by the law.

Speaking to several heads of private security agencies during a workshop on Tuesday, Lieutenant General Lim Sokha Reaksmey, head of the National Police’s private security department, said Cambodian law does not allow any enterprise or company to hire a foreign national to work as a private security agent in the Kingdom.

The statement came after recent violent clashes when Preah Sihanouk provincial police arrested Chinese security guards who worked in hotels and casinos run by Chinese nationals.

Lt Gen Sokha Reaksmey said the country’s workforce is large enough to supply private companies and institutions with Cambodian guards.

“There is no reason why a company should be permitted to employ a foreigner to work as a security agent since we have a lot already,” he said. “If this happens, it must be reported to the department urgently for legal action.”

Lt Gen Sokha Reaksmey said that private security guards have an important role to play in preventing all types of crimes, including drug offences, and to look after the safety of people at locations they are stationed, noting that they have to operate within the legal framework and not act beyond the scope of their duties.

A total of 27,190 private security guards work for 244 companies in the country. Supplied

“Security guards are not police officers. Please do not overact in your role. I appeal to the guards to report crimes that took place where they are situated,” he said. “All information are confidential and security guards are rewarded if they cooperate well with the police.”

According to the Department of Private Security Management, there are a total of 27,190 private security guards working for 244 private security companies across the Kingdom. These companies are scheduled to meet with National Police every six months for coordination.

Over the past three years, private security agencies, in collaboration with the police, have worked to prevent over 2,000 crimes.

Leng Kim Sreav, operating manager of Security Safety for You, yesterday said his company is aware of the rule and is currently employing around 400 Cambodians as security guards.

“The company has no reason to employ foreign nationals because we want to offer jobs to our Cambodian people,” he said. “Considering the labour costs, and the ease in communicating, our people are easy to work with. We have also offered them adequate training in order to build their capacities.”

Men Sombo, chief of Sky Security Service, said he supports Lt Gen Sokha Reaksmey, noting that his firm employs 600 Cambodian guards who are capable of coping with any situation.

“I have never employed foreigners to work as security guards. I’m aware of the consequences. If we did not follow the law, the authorities could shut down our business and we may face fines,” he said.

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