Tourist Sector Concerned by Recent Crimes

Officials at some of Cambodia’s most popular tourist spots say they are concerned that recent crimes against foreigners may deter travelers from visiting the country.

Last week five Ja­pan­ese tour­ists were bound and robbed at gun- point in their Phnom Penh ho­tel room by three assailants. And early Wednesday morn­ing, two Canadians—a 24-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman—were stabbed and robbed in their guest house room in Siha­nouk­ville.

Also in Sihanoukville in April, a Canadian woman in her mid-20s was reportedly raped at gunpoint on the beach.

“We regularly strengthen security, but some bad people sometimes make trouble,” Chhun Sirun, the Sihanoukville deputy governor, said Thursday.

Sihanoukville police were pursuing the suspects in Wednes­day’s stabbing, Kol Phaly, chief of the town’s pe­­­n­al police office, said Thursday.

The two injured Canadians were brought to Phnom Penh’s Cal­mette hospital on Wednesday with stab wounds to the ribs, arms and back, said a Calmette administration official who de­clined to be named. They were flown to Bang­kok for treatment later that night, the official said.

In last week’s incident, the five Ja­panese tourists were  un­harmed. But the at­tacks have alarmed some officials.

In Siem Reap province, Deputy Prov­incial Governor Suy San said he was concerned about the ef­fects of crime on tourism in his prov­ince.

“We have been worried about this problem for a long time,” Suy San said.

“We cannot be careless about this problem.”

On Monday, Phnom Penh Gov­ernor Kep Chuktema or­dered local authorities to increase security at all hotels and guest houses in the city.

Last week, the British Embassy updated its travel advisory for its citizens visiting Cambodia, though the advice was largely un­changed, said John Mitch­ell, deputy head of mission.

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