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Sar Kheng warns of agitators abroad

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Interior minister Sar Kheng during the ministry’s annual meeting on Wednesday. INTERIOR MINISTRY

Sar Kheng warns of agitators abroad

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said a nationwide crackdown on crime was 93 per cent successful and he continued to urge relevant institutions to work harder in the face of global crises that will impact Cambodia.

In the opening meeting to review the work results of 2021 and the work direction of 2022 for the ministry on February 22, Sar Kheng remarked on current events and the important achievements made in 2021.

He noted that superpowers’ rivalry in geopolitics, military, economics and technology was tense and that in order to serve their own competitive interests, some nations had increased activities that interfere in the internal affairs of smaller and poorer states.

He said that amid the pressures of the global situation, in Cambodia there were extremist opposition groups and “unscrupulous” people at home and abroad who have continued to use subterfuge to attempt to illegally overthrow the government in a bid to seize power, which is a serious violation of the Constitution.

He continued that despite the complex situation in the region and beyond, the Cambodian government had laid out comprehensive strategies to maintain security and public order to avert terrorism and prevent all kinds of transnational crimes in a timely manner.

In 2021, National Police forces and the sub-national administrations throughout the country strived to carry out a lot of work in a highly responsible manner to maintain security and social order, he said.

“Thanks to these efforts, we have mitigated all types of criminal offences by six per cent, in particular, those affecting socio-psychology by 14 per cent and the results of crime clampdowns were as high as 93 per cent,” he said.

He said that anti-crime campaigns were being carried out on a regular basis despite some disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as anti-drug, anti-trafficking and anti-sexual exploitation, economic crimes and other campaigns, though there are still problems and challenges that need continued work to solve.

“Although criminal offences have decreased in the past year, some crimes have increased significantly – intentional homicide, intentional violence, domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse,” he said.

Sar Kheng suggested that participants of the meeting commit to contributing the effort into the work to achieve it as planned.

Por Pheak, secretary-general of the interior ministry, said that 2021 brought multiple crises that posed a risk to national and international security like Covid-19, international terrorism, transnational crime of all kinds and, in particular, cybercrime while the increase in drug production and trafficking as well as human trafficking have all been rampant in the region.

He added that the number of demonstrations and strikes had decreased by a factor of 858 times less than previously. Most had been resolved peacefully to avoid social unrest and they had effectively prevented a colour revolution based on fabricated information that “polluted the social environment”.

“Nationwide, offences in 2021 compared to 2020 decreased by a factor of 199 times. Crime decreased by 93 times, misdemeanours by 106, deaths by 15, and injuries by 49,” he said.

Pheak continued that in 2021 a total of 2,654 road accidents occurred, killing 1,485 people and injuring 3,597 others. In the same period, 670 fires killed 18 people and injured 35 others, destroyed 472 houses and 231 stores. Also in 2021, a total of 31 shootings took place, killing nine people and injuring 30 others.

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