09/22/2021, 14.34
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Some 200 people arrested in Phnom Penh for online fraud

Cambodian police and Chinese agents raided a building complex in the capital. The criminal activities involved were not directly linked to the China Project. Most of those arrested and their victims are from the Chinese province of Yunnan.

Phnom Penh (AsiaNews) – Cambodian authorities continue to crack down on online criminal activities, which seem to be widespread across the country.

Last weekend, police raided a building complex in the capital and arrested nearly 200 people of different nationalities.

The raid was led by a joint task force of Cambodian police officers and Chinese officials from the Ministry of Public Security.

Law enforcement seized materials associated with Internet gambling and cryptocurrency mining, as well as substantial amounts of money.

According to the authorities, these activities are not linked directly to the China Project in Sihanoukville, where Chinese bosses held prisoner more than 8,000 people forced to commit online fraud.

That discovery last week is "rather a smaller version” of what is happening in Phnom Penh, a Cambodian police officer said.

“We have been observing the compound for sometimes, and decided to conduct the raid when we received information that there were victims of extortion – both sexual and financial –illegally detained inside the compound,” officer told the Khmer Times.

In total, more than 40 rooms in three different buildings were used for illegal activities.

The compound had a “mini mart and a restaurant inside to cater to the occupants of the building. Another building appears to be under construction and the Cambodian police have done a great job of nabbing all those in the compound. The entire perimeter of the building had a two-metre-high wall and four layers of razor wire on top,” said a Chinese officer.

“Interrogations are continuing and once completed, we hope the results will be shared with us to enable us to establish several key facts such as are whether they wanted in China for criminal or organised crime activities and if they are members of triads,” he added.

Most of those arrested are from China's Yunnan province, as are the victims, including many women, most likely lured through bogus dating sites.

Two days after the raid, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed gambling and online fraud with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong.

According to the Khmer Times, the police is planning further inspections, looking for passports and documents to trace the compound’s owner.

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