A National Police report yesterday revealed that Chinese nationals were the top perpetrators of crime and victims of crime amongst foreigners in the Kingdom during the first quarter of this year.
According to the report, 82 criminal cases involving foreign nationals were recorded from January until the end of March. The figure shows an increase of nearly 50 percent when compared to the 55 criminal cases involving foreign nationals during the same period last year.
It said National Police made 341 arrests consisting of 241 Chinese nationals, 49 Vietnamese nationals, 26 Thai nationals, four South Koreans and three Americans.
It added that most of the crimes were perpetrated in Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provinces, and Phnom Penh.
Additionally, the report noted that 211 foreign nationals from 35 different countries were victims of crime, an increase of about 15 percent when compared to last year’s data from the same period.
It said there were 98 victimised Chinese nationals, 12 French nationals, 11 British nationals, nine German and seven from the US.
General Thong Lim, deputy chief of the National Police, yesterday told provincial police departments to be more vigilant, noting that foreign embassies have complained due to a lack communication.
“Authorities in some provinces did not report on time, making it hard for the National Police to notify relatives of foreign suspects and foreign victims,” Gen Lim said. “Therefore, foreign embassies have had to directly contact the Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministries.”
“In order to improve work and guarantee full responsibility, police must be committed and obtain specific skills to curb problems,” he added.
National Police spokesman Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun said he was not surprised Chinese nationals were ranked among the top on of the list because there are many Chinese investors in the Kingdom.
“It’s clear that crackdowns have uncovered more crimes,” Lt Gen Khoeun said. “Economic development and investment have attracted more foreign investors and tourists, so crimes are likely to occur.”
Political analyst Sok Sakoun said the National Police should create a task force to monitor crimes involving Chinese investors and tourists.
“The team must solely focus on monitoring and cracking down on Chinese suspects,” Mr Sakoun said. “This special group could gather data and information regarding Chinese nationals.”
In September, the Interior Ministry created a taskforce to provide additional support to Preah Sihanouk provincial police in order to crack down on crimes following an influx of Chinese nationals.
In October, the taskforce reported that Chinese investment has also brought Chinese criminal organisations to set up networks in the Kingdom.