Australia is committed to continued cooperation with the Cambodian police to combat transnational crime and to transfer the knowledge and skills in the fight against cybercrime and money laundering.

The pledge came on March 2 during a meeting between Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw on his visit to Cambodia, where he joined the 40th ASEANAPOL Conference.

Sar Kheng urged both sides to continue to implement existing agreements and memorandums of understanding – and to look into the possibility of signing additional agreements in areas deemed necessary to serve the interests of the police and people of both nations.

He thanked the Australian government for its recent Covid-19 vaccine donation, saying that although coronavirus cases in Cambodia had increased over the past few weeks, the number of deaths was small, demonstrating that vaccinations have proved effective. In more than 20 years of cooperation, the Cambodian and Australian police have celebrated many achievements and built a strong friendship, he added.

“The Cambodian and Australian police forces have cooperated closely in the fight against drugs, among other offences. Kershaw is committed to continued cooperation to fight against organised crime,” Sar Kheng said.

The minister added that Cambodian authorities have seized hundreds of tonnes of drugs and chemical substances and were actively pursuing anti-drug campaigns.

Ro Vannak, co-founder of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy, said Australian assistance demonstrated soft power and strengthened and expanded bilateral relations.

“Australia is an attractive country for Cambodian students to further their studies and a popular destination for wealthy Khmer, in addition to building the capacity of the Cambodian police to combat cybercrime and money laundering offences,” he said.