The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a letter to embassies and diplomatic missions this week to clarify the new law regulating marriages between Cambodians and foreigners.
According to the letter dated Feb 2, foreigners applying for marriages “are not under any legal obligation or requirement to be a member of whatever association or organization in order to be eligible.”
“Furthermore, they should be advised against engaging an intermediary agency, which constitutes a violation of the regulations of the Royal Government of Cambodia,” the letter states.
Koy Koung, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the letter was sent in response to advertisements placed in newspapers by the Association for People Protection, claiming that foreigners needed to register through them in order to get married.
“Because the association is playing for profits and it is against the law,” he said. “That is why we informed the embassies.”
Koy Koung added that APP registered their business with the Interior Ministry.
Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Calls to Ky Sina, listed as the president of APP, went unanswered Wednesday, as did calls for the association’s offices registered South Korea.
In late March last year, the government banned marriages between Cambodians and foreign nationals following a report issued by the International Organization for Migration that highlighted the vulnerability of Cambodian women going to South Korea, often through unregulated broker agencies.
The ban was lifted in November when the government issued a sub-decree outlining procedures for foreigners and Cambodians hoping to wed.
(Additional reporting by Cajsa Collin)