Restaurant and bar operators who claim they are tired of being pestered by corrupt police officers have formed a new association that aims to protect their businesses, according to a statement from the group received Monday.
The Restaurant and Bar Operators Association of Cambodia, which will hold its inaugural general meeting on Friday, intends to help restaurant and bar owners do business and support tourism in Cambodia, the statement said.
It will also try to provide “Safety and Security in numbers,” to members, it said.
“The police/authorities are renowned for hitting new or established restaurants/bars for anything and everything they can, and on your own it can be very intimidating,” the statement said.
The association “has the experience and contacts to advise on matters such as these,” it added.
The association has about 20 members, including the Riverside Bistro and Pub, said Sreyleap Ourn, who works for the restaurant and the association. Most members are foreign restaurant owners, she added.
Andreas Stanke, owner of the Riverside Bistro and Pub and the association’s temporary president, declined Monday to comment on specific problems with the police.
But, he said: “From time to time people have difficulties, so they can solve their problems with us.”
The association includes members in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap, he said.
Yim Socheat, deputy Daun Penh district police chief, said he was unfamiliar with the association and that he was unaware of police corruption in his district.
“If they blame our police, please give us all their names,” he said, adding that those implicated could then be investigated.
Huy Song, deputy district police chief for Prampi Makara district, denied that police take money from restaurant owners.
“Our district police only take care of local and foreign investors,” he said.