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- November 29, 2020 4:18 AM
PHNOM PENH--The Cambodian authorities last year seized more than $7 million that was being smuggled into the country and arrested nine suspects—seven Chinese and two South Korean individuals—involved in the operations.
Kirth Chantharith, director-general of the General Immigration Department said Thursday that Cambodia has sent official requests to obtain the cooperation of China and South Korea to investigate the source of that money. "They have not responded yet,” he said. “So the Ministry of Justice is now helping and asking the Ministry of Justice in China to respond.
“When they do, we will investigate this together,” Chantharith said. The Cambodian authorities have also requested the assistance of Interpol to look into the corporate side of the money that was smuggled, he said.
In the meantime, the nine suspects are in temporary detention and the money is being kept at the National Bank of Cambodia, Chantharith said.
He was speaking during the annual meeting of the General Immigration Department during which last year’s operations and the implementation of this year’s program were discussed.
The nine suspects were arrested last year at the Phnom Penh International Airport and the Siem Reap International Airport as they were attempting to smuggle money into the country without any explanation as of its source. Of this amount, $2.2 million were brought in by the two South Koreans in July 2019.