Online gambling has been banned in Cambodia and recently the government launched a drive to ensure that no operator in the country offers online gambling beyond December 31.
However, 16 North Koreans have been arrested for being involved in online gambling operations. The arrested North Koreans were working as IT employees to assist technical work involved in online gambling operations.
Cambodia’s Khmer Times reports that North Koreans were arrested for being involved in an illegal online gambling ring targeting gamblers in China. The country’s law enforcement has confirmed that the arrested North Koreans were living in the country for over a year.
The operation which led to the arrest of the suspects took place in Siam Reap province. Commenting on the arrest of the North Korean nationals, the Provincial immigration police department, chief, Brigadier General Chea Kimsan, said: “Cambodia is a member of the United Nations and has to follow the sanctions. According to UN sanctions, North Korean nationals are not allowed to work in Cambodia, but these 16 men used tourist visas and worked illegally for nearly a year in the Kingdom.”
However, the arrested people were allowed to leave the country on Tuesday. “Apart from illegally staying and working in the Kingdom, the 16 men did not commit any other crime. So, we ordered them to leave Cambodia on their own by Tuesday,” the police chief said.
North Korea faces multiple different sanctions. Moreover, the United Nation’s policy prevents North Koreans from working in Cambodia. Be it the gambling industry or any other sector, North Koreans are not allowed to work in Cambodia. However, the lot ventured into Cambodia and had been working for over one year.
Cambodia had been coming up as an emerging regional online gambling hub, but last year in August, Cambodia banned all forms of online gambling. The government has said that anyone involved in online gambling in the country will be treated as gamblers. However, the government was lenient with the arrested North Koreans and allowed them to leave the country.