Online gambling industry aided by illicit Chinese capital network thrives in Cambodia creating law and order problem. Gangs have escaped or been rescued from what are in effect scam sweatshops. The gangs that run them enslave people who are lured from China, and increasingly other countries, with promises of high-paying jobs. Upon arrival, they are forced, under threat of violence, to defraud people online, according to Nikkei Asia.
Cambodia has a persistent problem of criminality and the law enforcement is weak and plagued by endemic official corruption, according to reports. Earlier, China Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi has called for action on the issue.
During a September visit this year to Phnom Penh, where China operates a joint law enforcement office, Wang called for Cambodia to help eliminate online gambling. However, in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk, where a massive influx of Chinese-owned casinos and online gambling companies led to rapid, uncontrolled development has been a hotbed of internet scam operations that detain workers, according to Nikkei Aisa.
Further, Cambodia consistently ranks near the bottom of Transparency International’s corruption perception index. The European Union last year listed it among 12 “high-risk” countries for money laundering. Most recently, US November this year warned investors about operating in Cambodia due to exposure to corruption, criminal activities, illicit finance, and human rights abuses.