January 3, 2024 3 min read

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Cambodia Casino Accuses over 800 Alleged Journalists of Bribery

The country’s Ministry of Information is collaborating with some of the accused individuals to determine the severity of the situation and ensure the integrity of media representatives

A staggering number of journalists, 192 in total, have stepped forward to address the Cambodian Ministry of Information regarding allegations of extortion from the Top Diamand Casino situated in Takeo Province. The venue claims that 828 individuals claiming to be journalists had abused their position to secure free food and monetary gifts, prompting an official investigation.

The Government Vowed to Take Action

Minister of Information Neth Pheaktra warned the journalists implicated in the bribery, mandating their appearance before the Ministry within a month to elucidate the situation and cooperate with the inquiry. Presently, 192 representatives from 107 media outlets have appeared, signifying their readiness to discuss the allegations made by the casino.

Tep Asnarith, Information Ministry spokesman, emphasized that journalists and media outlets who failed to verify their names would face legal action. Article 7/11 of the Law on the Press prohibits journalists from accepting bribes or extortion for publishing or withholding information, giving the government the means to pursue the alleged offenders.

Top Diamand Casino has pledged to cooperate with authorities, clarifying that its initial statements regarded individuals rather than media units or companies. Several high-profile media organizations have also stepped forward, denying any involvement in the scandal. This incident has gained significant momentum in the country and threatens to damage the reputation of journalists in Cambodia. 

Media Integrity Remains a Priority for the Ministry

Initial investigations revealed that many names on the list were not affiliated with any official media and likely faked their credentials to receive free offerings. However, Nop Vy, Executive Director of the Cambodian Journalist Alliance (CamboJA), noted that this case should serve as a lesson to the broader media industry.

The preventive measures are to educate, strengthen the understanding of media, and provide professional training to journalists with the collective participation of all stakeholders.

Nop Vy, CamboJA Executive Director

Speaking for The Khmer Times, Vy noted that improved educational campaigns would help journalists better adhere to ethical practices and perform their work professionally and without conflicts of interest. He added that strict adherence to these principles was the only way to improve the public perception of media representatives and dispel doubts regarding their integrity.

This recent case highlights Cambodia’s ongoing battle with corruption. Although the country left the FATF Grey List in February 2023, it still struggles with issues like illegal gambling and money laundering. The Ministry of Information remains committed to addressing the observed ethical breaches and ensuring that journalism in Cambodia adheres to lawful and professional standards.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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