A Ministry of Environment training session on the guidelines and procedures for investigating cases of money laundering continued on December 6 to strengthen the capacity of officials.

The training was presided over by Neth Pheaktra, ministry secretary of state and permanent deputy chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Task Force, and attended by some 100 judicial police and law enforcement officials.

Pheaktra said all judicial police officials have the role of enforcing the Law on “Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism” and the Law on “Combating the Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) stemming from natural resource crime.

“[We] have actively cooperated with the relevant ministries and institutions to strengthen the environment ministry’s mechanisms and permanent systems in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and to increase the effectiveness of crime prevention,” he said.

The environment ministry said its Anti-Money Laundering Task Force had made presentations related to the Law on Protected Areas, the Law on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, and the standard operating procedures to be implemented in the fight against money laundering.

“While large-scale natural resources crimes are currently no longer occurring, there are still small offences we have to prevent and crack down on,” Pheaktra said.

He urged officials to remain vigilant and continue fully implementing the law responsibly and professionally to preserve natural resources, and to especially crack down on money laundering and the financing of terrorism resulting from natural resource crime.

He also noted that said that thanks to peace, political stability and strengthened natural resource preservation, Cambodia had sold carbon credits, which is an important development as the Kingdom is receiving revenue from its conservation efforts.

“The view that only deforestation can earn income has been discredited, and we are now operating under the slogan of ‘keep the trees standing for the benefit of the economy and society’.

“As Cambodia successfully sells carbon credits, it raises the Kingdom’s prestige on the international stage. It also rebuts any idea that Cambodia has the most forest crime in the world,” Pheaktra said.