A handful of demobilized soldiers in Phnom Penh are trading in their AK-47s for trench coats and fedoras with the launch of Cambodia’s first private investigation agency.
Since it started up operations last month, Private Investigation Services has hired 10 private eyes, all of them either ex-soldiers or ex-cops, said the company’s manager who asked not to be named.
The private eyes are forbidden to carry weapons, and all investigations will be carried out strictly according to rules and laws.
“My investigators have no right to arrest anyone or hit anyone,” the manager said.
The agency, which has been running ads in the Khmer-language paper Rasmei Kampuchea, promises to accept all kinds of investigations, from petty stuff, such as straying husbands and lost property, to kidnappings, missing persons and even murder.
But some cases are too hot to handle.
“My company is a private business company, so we will not do any investigations of political cases,” the manager said.
He added that the agency has already been registered with the Ministry of Commerce. But Long Sophan, director of the ministry’s Registration Department, said he hasn’t yet seen the application.
“I have never heard of this kind of business before,” he said.