Mondolkiri provincial officials yesterday said they have ordered commune chiefs to report all newcomers to police, a move they hope will help address a growing crime rate they blame on outsiders.
“We are preparing to increase registration of newcomers who come to live and of tourists who come to visit,” said deputy provincial governor Aisi Sokhuntheari.
“We are keeping an eye on rascals that immigrate to Mondolkiri to commit crimes and create insecurity so that we can create order in the province, which is a national and international tourist destination.” Ms Sokhuntheari also asked ordinary residents to do their part by keeping their valuable jewelry at home.
“Our villagers they like to wear jewelry to show off to other people,” she said. “I appeal to them: Don’t wear jewelry to the market that can tempt the robber.”
According to deputy provincial police chief So Sovann, a woman who had gone shopping in Sen Monorom city last week was allegedly robbed of $5,000 worth of jewelry after the thieves secretly drugged her with a substance that made her lose consciousness. Mr Sovann said the main suspects were from another province.
“The robbers are newcomers who committed the crime and escaped quickly,” he said. “We are concerned about newcomers who come to cause trouble in our province.”
In an effort to improve their crime-fighting skills, he added, some 40 district and provincial police gathered in Sen Monorom city yesterday for eight days of training in everything from processing a crime scene for bullet casings to examining a dead body.
“I think it is very good for our police to improve their abilities and knowledge to research illegal acts and to provide security and order for people throughout the province,” Mr Sovann said.
Provincial Adhoc investigator Chhay Thy, however, said outsiders also had a valuable role to play.
“We have not limited the amount of newcomers yet because some of them are tourists or come to work in the rice fields,” he said.