The Ministry of Interior has suspended all anti-counterfeiting activities by authorities under its purview and tasked the General Department of Inspection with investigating complaints from members of the public over alleged misconducts by National Police officers.

The internal investigation – ordered by Minister Sar Sokha in a directive dated September 15 –aims to ensure compliance with laws, regulations, standards and quality control measures.

Sokha has also tasked the National Police with enforcing internal regulations and taking legal action against any officers or units who abused their authority, as alleged in the complaints from the public and business owners alike.

Ministry spokesperson Touch Sokheak told The Post on September 19 that the decision came in response to reports of misconduct by law enforcement officers.

To address this, Sokha consulted with relevant departments under the ministry and ordered the suspension pending an investigation.

“The police have been conducting operations in accordance with their skills and legal guidelines to enhance social welfare. However, we have faced criticism for perceived gaps in our missions,” said Sokheak.

“Additionally, it has come to light that certain opportunists have posed as police officials, engaging in unfavourable activities and misleading business owners about law enforcement procedures,” he explained, adding that the inspectorate is initiating a thorough and systematic investigation with the aim of compiling a report for the minister’s review.

The spokesman said immediate action would be taken against any officers found to be involved in professional misconduct.

“During this temporary suspension, if police officers or units under the ministry continue their activities, we will transfer the authority to the National Police to address individuals or units that violate the law,” he said.

Secretary of state Meach Sophanna, who leads the ministry’s Counter Counterfeiting Committee, was not available for comment.

Pa Chanroeun, president of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy, expressed that if any irregularities are detected among law enforcement officers, suspension would be an appropriate measure. He emphasised the necessity for the ministry to conduct a comprehensive review of these issues to improve the quality and efficiency of officers.