Police to Start Night Inspections of Migrants

In the latest step in efforts to deport illegal migrant workers, the head of the Interior Ministry’s immigration department said on Tuesday that his officers would begin around-the-clock inspections of businesses, particularly those with many Vietnamese employees.

Immigration police chief Sok Phal announced at an annual meeting of the department that its officers would begin a new policy to conduct inspections at night, with a particular focus on clubs, restaurants and casinos in Phnom Penh.

Sok Phal, head of the Ministry of Interior's immigration department, speaks at an annual meeting in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Sok Phal, head of the Ministry of Interior’s immigration department, speaks at an annual meeting in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“About 98 percent of all foreign migrants working in Cambodia are of Vietnamese nationality,” said General Phal during an annual meeting in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.

“I see many foreign migrants at Naga Casino or Casa Club, but we have not made night-time inspections,” he said. “We have only been operating in the day, so we can’t check if they are legal workers.”

The department also released statistics summarizing the last two years of work to rein in the number of illegal migrants working in the country.

In the first 11 months of last year, immigration police and Labor Ministry officials inspected 2,665 enterprises throughout the country for foreign migrants and found 1,930 illegal migrant laborers, according to the data.

Gen. Phal said officers stationed along the border needed to step up their efforts to keep out illegal laborers.

“I also think there is not enough work being done at the Cambodia and Vietnam border to stop illegal immigration,” he said.

Following renewed implementation of laws related to foreign workers, the number of those who possess the documents to show that they are working in the country legally is also on the rise, said Seng Sakada, who heads the Labor Ministry’s labor department.

The number of work permits issued in 2015 more than doubled from the previous year to 35,912, leading to a parallel increase in fees paid to the government, Mr. Sakada said.

“The money received from work permits was $2 million in 2014 and $5 million last year,” he said.

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