July 25, 2022
PHNOM PENH – ASEAN senior officials in charge of transnational crimes reported an increase in transnational crimes for the region despite travel restrictions having been tightened to control the spread of Covid-19.
The increase in transnational crimes in the region was discussed during the 22nd ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) and other related meetings held for three days from July 19-21 via video conference.
The Ministry of Interior said in a press statement on the outcomes of the SOMTC meeting on July 21 that the types of crimes that had increased included drug trafficking, cross border removal, human trafficking, cyber crimes, money laundering and other international economic crimes.
“All of these crimes are key to the agendas of senior law enforcement officials of ASEAN member states, which discussed finding common solutions for effectively preventing and combating them to achieve security, development and prosperity for the whole ASEAN region,” the statement said.
The 22nd SOMTC was led by Por Pheak, secretary-general of the Ministry of Interior and Chairman of the Transnational Crime Task Force.
Pheak also led the 19th ASEAN-plus-three Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime within the China-Japan-South Korea Dialogue. During the meeting, ASEAN senior officials and those of the “plus-three” countries had exchanged ideas and raised new initiatives aimed at promoting cooperation among law enforcement officials in ASEAN countries and the three dialogue countries.
Also, Pheak led another meeting of the SOMTC plus Dialogue Partner Consultation which consists of Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, India, New Zealand, Australia, the EU and the US. They reviewed previous cooperation and existing cooperation documents and discussed the way forward to strengthen cooperation.