Read more: Chinese top foreign crimes list
The Chinese embassy issued a statement on Sunday saying that Chinese police will work with their Cambodian counterparts to investigate footage showing unidentified Chinese nationals threatening to cause insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province.
The footage showed a man in a white t-shirt with a group of tattooed individuals saying that they hailed from Chongqing city and they will commit crimes. The footage was shared thousands of times and it gained the attention of the authorities from both sides.
After the footage went viral, National Police chief General Neth Savoeun ordered for an investigation.
According to the embassy, the footage was concerning and that it will work with police in Cambodia.
“The Chinese embassy in Cambodia is very concerned about this and will coordinate with police officers in Cambodia and China to investigate this issue,” the embassy said in the statement.
Major General Chuon Narin, chief of Preah Sihanouk provincial police, yesterday said his officers are currently investigating the case.
“Preah Sihanouk provincial police officers and specialised cops are investigating the case in order to identify this Chinese group,” Maj Gen Narin said, noting that he will not allow crimes to be committed. “We will not allow this activity to occur in Cambodia.”
Over the weekend, local media reported that, according to Chinese embassy official, a criminal mastermind behind the footage was arrested in China.
However, police in Cambodia are unable to verify whether this information was true, while the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment yesterday. Maj Gen Narin said he had not heard about the arrest.
“I have not received this information,” he said. “So please if you have any updates on this issue, please alert me because we are investigating the case.”
A separate local media report noted that no arrests have been made, according to a senior Chinese embassy official.
Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun, spokesman of the National Police, said the authorities will continue to prevent crimes from occurring in the Kingdom.
“Until now, we have not received this information regarding the arrest of the mastermind mentioned in online newspaper reports,” Lt Gen Kim Khoeun said.
Crimes involving Chinese nationals in Preah Sihanouk have been on the rise recently following increasing investments in the province.
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.
According to a National Police report last week, 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.