Cambodian police trained to fight money laundering, terror financing

With an aim of facing the growing challenge in Southeast Asia concerning money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has stepped in to provide Cambodian police with skills in order to curb this threat, according to a statement released Monday.

The statement, released by the European Union, said money laundering and the financing of terrorism have become a growing challenge worldwide, with Southeast Asia being no exception.

"Cash-based economies, high tourism levels, and the many financial services available make the region attractive to organized crime and corruption. This has negative impacts on the stability and development of many countries, including Cambodia," it said.

In response to this threat, a joint EU-UNODC initiative to support Southeast Asian countries in countering terrorism conducted seven one-week training workshops to expand investigators expertise and train local police trainers.

It said that since September last year, 60 Cambodian counter-terrorism police officers received training in basic and advanced investigation techniques related to fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Out of these, a selected number of law enforcement officers were trained to become trainers, to ensure the sustainability of the program.

Sieng Lapresse, undersecretary of state at the Interior Ministry said, "Cambodia has great challenges ahead of it. This program provided the necessary skills and knowledge to the Cambodian law enforcers to suppress all kind of terrorist activities."

Alain Vandersmissen, minister counselor of the EU delegation to Cambodia, said, "Cambodia is a country that grows fast but remains fragile, with the potential of being attractive for terrorist-related activities or a safe haven for terrorists."