Phnom Penh (FN), July 17 – Cambodian interior minister Sar Kheng urged officials to obstruct money laundering, while the kingdom was put on the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental organization that underpins the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

“Money laundering must be done at all the gates [borders], including land, water, and air, based on the principles and policies of the government,” the minister addressed Wednesday, 17 July, in the immigration meeting.

“Cambodia was on the [FATS’s] grey list and if no efforts made, we will be on blacklist. Without actions, it only benefits a group who conspire to do this business [money laundering], yet it will destroy our whole nation and people,” the minister warned, speaking on 11 July.

According to the minister, Cambodia has confiscated an overall of USD 7.4 million in five separate cases at the international border. The seized cashes were deposited at the National Bank of Cambodia awaiting further investigation.

The suspects were arrested in accordance to law on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, and other effective legal instruments in Cambodia.

Ministry of Interior’s immigration police, on 23 April 2019, arrested three Chinese for bringing USD 3.5 million into the kingdom from Hong Kong without proper financial source; arrested a Chinese on 29 May 2019 for bringing in almost USD 1 million from Hong Kong; and later arrested two Koreans on 8 July 2019 for bringing over USD 2.2 million from Hong Kong.