Cambodia urged to target ‘key figures’ as Chinese scam gangs defy crackdowns in ‘sin city’

Some 450 people were arrested in the latest raids earlier this month, showing that crime continues to plague the coastal city of Sihanoukville.

Cambodia’s continued crackdowns in Sihanoukville show the coastal “sin city” is still likely powered by the scam industry, observers said, despite mounting pressure on the government to eradicate the predominantly Chinese crime gangs that have made billions of dollars from cyber fraud.

During the latest raid March 9-10, officials arrested more than 450 people who were allegedly part of illegal online gambling and “pig-butchering” scam businesses thriving behind the fronts of authorised casinos.

Many foreign criminal networks have penetrated Cambodia over the past several years through such operations, with most controlled by Chinese mafia groups that centre their scams in semi-lawless Sihanoukville. Many condominiums and commercial buildings have been hastily erected to be used as worker dormitories, offices and other support sites from which to run cyber fraud businesses.

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