The Defence Ministry yesterday reported that it cracked down on more than 2,900 border crimes during the first six months of this year while pledging to continue cooperation with neighbouring countries to fight crimes.
The report was made public during a meeting led by Defence Minister General Tea Banh yesterday in Phnom Penh. The meeting was attended by senior ministry officials and senior members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.
The report said that from January to the end of June, most of the crimes prevented were near the Cambodia-Thai border.
Defence Ministry spokesman General Chhum Sucheat said the crackdowns could not have been done without the cooperation of troops.
“In the first semester of 2019, infantry troops cooperated with each other to patrol Cambodian territories. They also inspected demarcation marks along the border,” Gen Sucheat said. “They cracked down on 2,981 border crimes, including 1,289 along the Thai border, 1,179 along the Vietnamese border and 513 along the Lao border.”
Additionally, he said that between January and June, Cambodia and Vietnam worked together to uncover the remains of more than 500 Vietnamese troops who died in Cambodia between 1979 and 1989.
“We cooperated with Vietnam to find the remains of their troops,” Gen Sucheat said. “We found 540 in total.”
He noted that 62 were found in the special region which covers the provinces of Kampong Chhnang and Kandal and Phnom Penh, while the rest were found across the Kingdom.
He said that the RCAF will continue to work with neighbouring countries to address crimes and maintain cooperation.
“RCAF has strengthened national defence, especially along the border,” Gen Sucheat said. “They regularly patrolled and inspected our territories.”
“They cracked down on all kinds of crimes and illegal border crossing” he added. “They continue to cooperate with neighbouring countries to solve challenges peacefully.”
According to the report, from January to September of last year, the ministry cracked down on 4,223 border crimes along the Vietnamese, Thai and Lao borders.
It noted that the RCAF worked with Vietnamese researchers to locate the remains of 566 Vietnamese troops who died in the Kingdom.
In other news, Gen Banh yesterday held a ceremony to promote former Preah Sihanouk provincial Governor Yun Min, who resigned from his position following the deadly Sihanoukville building collapse.
After his resignation was accepted by Prime Minister Hun Sen, Mr Min was given a secretary of state position at the Defence Ministry.
Kin Phea, director-general of the Institute of International Relations at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday said despite the ministry’s achievements, crime still poses as challenge along borders.
“Even if there are no military confrontations along our borders, we still have many challenges that demand our RCAF to strengthen its capacity,” Mr Phea said. “If we compare to the capacity of neighbouring countries, our capacity is still limited – in both forces and weapons.”