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Officials agree on seized-goods control

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Forestry crime evidence seized in Mondulkiri province. Heng Chivoan

Officials agree on seized-goods control

The Ministry of Justice and the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) have agreed on pointmen to discuss and address the risks involved in managing confiscated goods. This agreement was made during a meeting between justice minister Koeut Rith and ACU chairman Om Yentieng on December 29.

The pointmen are Srin Sovann, assistant to vice-president of the National Anti-Corruption Council (NACC), and Pen Pich Saly, director-general of the justice ministry’s Department of Criminal Affairs and Prosecutions.

According to the press release issued after the meeting, leaders of the two institutions discussed the legal framework, implementation, challenges and important progress they have achieved in managing confiscated goods and evidence.

Yentieng praised the progress, quality and efficiency of the justice ministry under Rith’s leadership. The ministry had successfully implemented the campaign to clear the backlog of cases at municipal and provincial courts.

“This achievement has contributed to the promotion of justice as well as the benefit of the people,” Yentieng said.

Rith said the first achievement was due to the contribution of the ministry’s leadership, civil servants and the judiciary, as well as the support from all stakeholders, especially the ACU.

The press release said it is important to build a more comprehensive legal framework and strengthen the capacity of institutions involved in the management of confiscated goods.

The purpose is to meet the international obligations of Cambodia as a member of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and address some practical challenges.

The ACU highly appreciates the ministry’s remarkable efforts to overcome past difficulties and challenges. However, regarding the management and confiscation of goods, Cambodia still has more obligations to fulfil regarding the legal framework, procedures and implementation mechanisms.

According to ACU, the implementation of management and seizure of goods in the past has faced many challenges, such as the limited ability and inconsistent practices.

The ACU said that on August 30, last year, the Council of Ministers approved the draft evaluation report on the second round review of the implementation of the UNCAC in Cambodia.

The meeting also measured the implementation of international obligations under the UNCAC and the actual needs of Cambodia.

Hence, the government decided to appoint the ministry and the ACU to study and examine the possibility of establishing laws that benefit the state on the management of confiscated goods.

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