Tax crime, a hotly debated topic at the national, regional and global levels, is becoming increasingly prevalent in Cambodia, often accompanied by other serious offences, according to General Department of Taxation (GDT) chief Kong Vibol.

He made the remarks at a March 20 training course on tax crime for the leadership of taxation units, according to a press release from the GDT.

“At the GDT, we are facing this problem increasingly. It is an element of other major crimes, such as economic, financial and money laundering crimes,” he said.

All of these crimes are interconnected and interrelated. The perpetrators of these crimes, at the national, regional and international levels, are individuals and entities with a high ability and talent for deception and sometimes they are more adept than law enforcement agencies at committing these crimes than the police are at discovering them.

“Tax, economic, financial and money laundering crimes not only have a strong impact on the national budget and the regional and global economies, but also on security, political stability and public trust in the government’s capacity to lead and run society and the nation as a whole. In fact, the perpetrators have a clear purpose to destroy the interests of the nation, society and the people.

“I initiated and led this course to share and promote a broad and in-depth understanding for the entire GDT on tax, economic, financial and money laundering crimes as well as global principles, polices and measures at the national, regional and global levels for a whole of government approach to the cause of combating those crimes in Cambodia,” he said.

GDT deputy director-general Ken Sambath said there are 10 universal principles of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the fight against tax crime, including setting out effective strategies for tackling tax crime.

“The OECD has sufficient investigative powers to effectively freeze and seize assets, organise organisational structures with clear responsibilities and provide sufficient resources for the investigation of tax offences.

“They are an element of money laundering crime. The OECD has an effective framework for inter-agency cooperation within the country, ensuring mechanisms of international tax cooperation and the protection of the rights of suspects,” he said.