Construction on Cambodia’s first private prison began on Tuesday in Phnom Penh following a $4 million investment from a Malaysian firm, part of an effort to reduce “serious” overcrowding in the country’s prisons, according to an Interior Ministry official.
Huy Hoeun, deputy director of the ministry’s general department of prisons, said the complex would be operated by Kunn Rekon Holdings and would occupy 1.5 hectares of land behind the state-run Prey Sar prison in the capital’s Dangkao district.
The prison is scheduled to be completed within 18 months, although the company said it could be finished as soon as the first quarter of next year, according to Mr. Hoeun.
“The number of inmates is overpopulated by 50 percent, and…financing for prisons is limited,” he said.
The Malaysian firm will receive a 45-year contract to operate the prison, though the Cambodian government would be in charge of security and determining which prisoners were detained there, Mr. Hoeun said.
He added that the prison would be fully handed over to the Cambodian government when the contract expired.
Correction: Earlier version of this article misspelled the company’s name Kunn Rekon Holdings.