Security Firms, Casinos to Face Tighter Oversight

Private security companies as well as casino and entertainment ven­ues will face increased scrutiny with the creation of two new Interior Ministry departments, according to a sub-decree signed last month.

According to a three-page sub-decree dated November 27 and signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the two departments—to fall under the National Police’s central security department—will regulate private security-service companies and fight money-laundering and other crimes at gambling venues, respectively.

The new department of private security management will be responsible for certifying, monitoring and documenting private sector firms. It will also provide training and work with them to protect unspecified “key locations” and valuable objects.

The new body can also temporarily suspend or revoke the bus­iness license of companies that do not comply with its rules, according to the sub-decree.

Meanwhile, casinos and private entertainment venues such as bars, clubs and karaoke parlors will now fall under the purview of the new anti-commercial gambling department, which will monitor gambling activities.

The body is also charged with the “research, investigation and suppression of money laundering offenses related to gambling in casinos and entertainment clubs” and preventing unspecified “targeted people forbidden from gambling” from entering the venues.

Officials from the Interior Ministry and National Police could not be reached for comment.

Thou Chanthol, director-general of Star Security Cambodia, welcomed the new body, but said that training costs could pose problems for poorly paid guards.

“The customers don’t want to pay much, so it’s hard for us when we are trying to provide security service with high standards,” he said, adding that most guards make $150 a month and work 12-hour shifts.

“I hope that the Ministry of Interior can help set a standard price in security services. For instance, ‘The cheapest price for anybody who wants to hire a private security force shall be $170 per month,’” he said.

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