Cambodia has been working hard to crack down on gambling-related fraud and exit the Financial Action Task Force money laundering gray list. While the country has been making some impressive strides, there is still some work to be done, Transparency International Cambodia said.
Cambodia Must Still Do More
Cambodia had come to be synonymous with fraud, organized crime and illegal gambling. Even worse, the country had become notorious for its rampant human trafficking, which is often related to illegal gambling operations.
Luckily, the current government decided that it has had enough of this and launched a large-scale operation to eliminate illegal gambling and stop money laundering. Ever since the operation was launched, Cambodian authorities succeeded in cracking down on many illegal venues. In addition, the country introduced new legal principles and established a department that is tasked with being at the front lines against money laundering. Finally, Cambodia vowed to cooperate with other countries on a regional and international level and work to stop fraud.
However, the country must do more to be removed from the FATF gray list. Pech Pisey, executive director at TI Cambodia said that the country is still a jurisdiction under increased monitoring. This means that there is more to be done to inhibit money laundering and other financial fraud.
Efforts Are Being Made
Pisey praised the changes. He emphasized that the new inter-ministerial committee has done a lot to combat money laundering and has trained law enforcers in identifying harm. However, while the committee is led by the Ministry of Justice and the Anti-Corruption Unit, it still faces limitations in applying the law. Pisey noted that investigations, arrests and punishments are still lacking, despite the progress Cambodia has made.
The executive director noted that another problem is the sharing of confidential information concerning these crimes with other states. However, Cambodia does realize the need for international cooperation and the limitation of its own resources.
The war on crime continues in Cambodia. While the country still has a long way to go, it is optimistic to see that effort is being made. Speaking of which, Cambodia just published its new guidelines for casino and gambling operators. The guidelines reflect the government’s firm stance against gambling-related crime and are an effort to further limit criminal activities.
Gambling is one of the sectors that are most vulnerable to crime and fraud. Other such sectors include the real estate and shadow investments sector, which are also on the Cambodian government’s radar.