INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Tip Meeting with Cambodian Police Deputy

Published: Wed 6 Sep 2006 11:19 AM
VZCZCXYZ0005
OO RUEHWEB
DE RUEHPF #1606/01 2491119
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061119Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7262
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE 1773
UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 001606
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MLS, G/TIP AND EAP/RSP
BANGKOK FOR ICE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL CB KWMN
SUBJECT: TIP MEETING WITH CAMBODIAN POLICE DEPUTY
COMMISSIONER
REF: A. A) SECSTATE 123359
B. B) PHNOM PENH 1424
1. (SBU) Summary. On September 5, the Acting DCM delivered
the Tier 2 Watch List Action Plan demarche to Lieutenant
General Neth Savoeun of the Cambodian National Police,
emphasizing the recommendations in the reftel. The A/DCM
asked that Cambodian police consider the recommendations as a
way to help improve their TIP-fighting abilities. The
Lieutenant General agreed with the recommendations but added
that the police would need time to review its TIP plan to
revise areas where shortcomings are identified. The case of
an American citizen arrested for TIP was also discussed. End
Summary.
2. (U) Acting DCM was accompanied by poloff (notetaker) and
Pol/Econ LES staffmember; Savoeun was accompanied by Ung
Sokhunthea, head of the CNP's Anti-TIP Department; Kirth
Chantharith, chief of staff at the MOI; and Chea Peou,
assistant to Commissioner General of National Police.
MOI Deputy Commissioner Discusses TIP
-------------------------------------
3. (SBU) On September 5, the Acting DCM delivered the
Trafficking in Persons demarche to Lieutenant General Neth
Savoeun, the Deputy Commissioner General of National Police
and presented copies of the reftel A non-paper in English and
Khmei. The A/DCM noted that the RGC made good progress in
previous rating period, and as a result had been upgraded
from Tier 3 to the Tier 2 Watchlist in the 2006 TIP Report.
She went on to press Savoeun in three areas. First she asked
that the police speed up investigations of establishments
known to have trafficking victims for sale, especially in
Phnom Penh's Street 63 and Toul Kork areas. Second, she
stated the Embassy is aware of a number of indebted Chinese
and Vietnamese nationals coming to work in karoke and massage
parlors in Cambodia. She asked that the Cambodian National
Police (CNP) investigate such nationals coming to work in
Cambodia with any eye towards reducing the number of
trafficking victims. Third, the A/DCM stated that the USG is
concerned with how official corruption aids TIP.
Specifically, she stated that USG is concerned that
establishments offering TIP victims continue to operate
because of corruption.
4. (SBU) Savoeun thanked the A/DCM for her recommendations.
He noted that the Ministry of Interior signed a Memorandum
of Understanding with the International Justice Mission (IJM)
that very day. He also highlighted that the CNP organized a
seminar the previous month with the NGOs and the
representatives of various Embassies about TIP. Savoeun
stated that the CNP has been doing its best to fight TIP.
5. (SBU) Regarding the A/DCM recommendations, Savoeun
stated that he would forward them to Commissioner General of
the Police Hok Lundy. He agreed that CNP should speed up its
investigations. Savoeun stated that a few months ago, the
CNP came across some cases of Vietnamese trafficking victims;
he said that the CNP is cooperating with neighboring
countries on such transnational TIP cases. He said that he
has reminded government officials that they cannot
participate in illegal activity as well as investigated which
officials were abusing the law. Savoeun promised to check
the CNP's TIP strategy to see where the plan was lacking
based on the recommendations. He also promised to have a
meeting with all provincial police commissioners in one month
and highlight the importance of TIP. Finally, the CNP Deputy
Commissioner punctuated the conversation by stating that the
CNP will not rest until Cambodia is Tier 1.
Amcit TIP Case
--------------
6. (SBU) The A/DCM thanked Savoeun for his work and the
commitment of the RGC to support anti-TIP measures. She also
asked about the case of Amcit Terrence Darrell Smith, who was
arrested in Sihanoukville on July 31 on charges of
debauchery. Smith and his Vietnamese wife were recently
released from a prison in Sihanoukville on bail. Savoeun
stated that the case has been sent to the courts and promised
to contact the Ministry of Justice and look into the matter.
He also offered to work with the courts to issue a letter to
the Embassy requesting that Smith not receive USG assistance
to leave the country while his case was pending in the
Cambodian courts. (Note: Smith is wanted in the state of
Oregon on 17 counts of debauchery. End Note.)
Comment
-------
7. (SBU) Neth Savoeun responded favorably on TIP-related
matters. So far this year, however, little in terms of
concrete progress in terms of arrests, prosecutions, and
rescue of TIP victims has resulted when compared with
statistics from the previous year. IJM has complained that
their MOU agreement with the MOI has been stalled for months.
The Ambassador presented the demarche (reftel B) to DPM and
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng. This time, we wanted to
reinforce with the CNP leadership several specific areas in
which they could make useful inroads before the next TIP
review. The next few months will see if positive action will
result, and the Embassy will continue to press the RGC for
tangible results. Septel describes recent anti-prostitution
raids in Phnom Penh that did nothing to further the RGC's
anti-TIP agenda. End Comment.
MUSSOMELI
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media