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Virus opportunists in Cambodiato be held accountable

The Phnom Penh Post Fri, March 13, 2020

The government has announced penalties against companies, shops and market vendors that take advantage of people’s fears of the novel coronavirus to raise prices of everyday goods.

Speaking at a press conference at the Peace Place on Thursday, government spokesman Phay Siphan pleaded with companies not to exploit Covid-19 fears to raise the price of staple goods. He appealed to people’s sense of solidarity, telling Cambodians to help each other in times of crisis.

“Don’t be afraid. Opportunists will try to exploit your fears for their own benefit. Shopkeepers, please behave according to the spirit of Khmer solidarity. Don’t raise the price of daily goods,” he said.

Siphan said people need not be afraid as Prime Minister Hun Sen is at the frontline of the battle against Covid-19.

“If companies engage in dubious behaviour, the authorities will take legal action. Businesses, take this as a warning,” he stressed.

Siphan said the British couple that tested positive for Covid-19 in Kampong Cham this week has been placed under quarantine in a private clinic in Phnom Penh. They are healthy and do not show severe symptoms.

At the same press conference, Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak discussed the accomplishments of his ministry in the last few years.

He pointed out that last year the Counter Counterfeit Committee cracked down on 60 illegal operations and detained 10 offenders, seizing several tonnes of counterfeit goods. The case files have been forwarded to the courts.

The seized products included soap, medicine, and staple goods.

“We also cracked down on 75 cases of money laundering and built 15 case files that have been forwarded for prosecution. Prosecutors charged the offenders for money laundering in 10 of the cases,” he said.

Cambodia has 37,007 prisoners, of whom 2,584 are women, he pointed out. “As the country’s economy grows, so does crime,” he said.

Discussing threats to national security, Sopheak highlighted the 2013 general election and the role of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). He said the CNRP was to blame for instability at the time.

“The slogan ‘Change, change, change’ is appropriate before an election, but it should no longer be used after the polls. In 2013, the CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court. The party had organised a campaign that involved violence and riots. The evidence against its officials is now in the hands of the police and government lawyers,” he said.

 

https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/virus-opportunists-be-held-accountable

From: THE PHNOM PENH POST, CAMBODIA Fri, March 13, 2020

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