RCAF Sees Huge Border Gambling Problem

Vietnamese are crossing the bor­der to Cambodia by the hundreds to engage in illegal gambling, a weekly RCAF report said on Monday.

“Hundreds of Vietnamese people are crossing into Cambodia through illegal checkpoints every day, and they are gambling, especially cock-fighting,” an Armed Forces general said Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

Cock-fighting and cards are two forms of illegal gambling taking place at 16 different locations along the border in the provinces of Kampot, Takeo, Svay Rieng and Prey Veng, the report said.

“We are concerned about gambling increasing along the border of Vietnam and Cambodia. They are playing freely and disorderly,” the general said. “In this situation, we should not have gambling be­cause people will lose money and robbery will increase.”

Prey Veng Deputy Police Chief Chan Prakorb said Tuesday that provincial police are trying to crack down on small-time gambling in response to a request from neighboring authorities.

“Vietnamese authorities re­quested us to stop the cock-fighting inside Cambodia because their people are crossing into Cam­bodia and betting money,” Chan Prakorb said.

He said it was difficult to catch the gamblers because they move to a different location each day.

Svay Rieng Police Chief Hem Saban said not as many gamblers are placing bets in his province as they are in Prey Veng. He said other nationalities are moving their games from the streets to the legal casinos along the Bavet border checkpoint in Svay Rieng.

“Foreigners from Vietnam, Chi­na and Korea are playing games in two casinos in Bavet commune. They do not have huge numbers of gamblers because [the casinos] are not well known yet,” Hem Saban said.

There are more than a dozen ca­sinos located inside Cambodia along the Thai border.

The RCAF report also stated that the Cambodian Freedom Fight­ers rebel group is gathering strength within the country.

The report said Cambodian-Amer­icans are recruiting local Cam­bodians to create new CFF bases in undisclosed locations, two years after the rebel group staged a bloody attack on government buildings before being suppressed by the military. The re­port did not specify how many CFF forces were organizing.

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