Pawn Shops are Becoming Legal – Wednesday, 3.2.2010

Posted on 4 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: Recently, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced through newspapers to inform vendors who want to run pawn shop operations to apply for a license very soon, because such operations can now be legalized. This information shows that pawn shop operations become legal.

“An official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said on 12 January 2010 that the ministry had issued an announcement about the provision of licenses for the operation of pawn shops to accept, buy, and sell pawn property, and for the operations to accept collateral via transfer. Based on this notification, those who intend to run or are already running pawn shop operations can apply for licenses so as to make their operations legal.

“According to the law, quoted for the announcement about the operation of pawn shops that Rasmei Kampuchea received on 1 February 2010, a license for such operations to accept, buy, and sell pawn property costs Riel 2,000,000 [approx. US$470] per year, and a license to open a branch costs Riel 1,000,000 [approx.US$235]. And a license for the operation to accept collateral via transfer costs Riel 1,000,000 per year and only Riel 500,000 [approx. US$120] to open a branch. The operation to accept collateral via transfer, according to the official’s explanation, is also a kind of pawn shop operation, but documents for the sales and for the buying are issued.

“Based on this notification, to run an operation to accept, buy, and sell pawn property, an owner needs to have a minimum capital of Riel 80,000,000 [approx. US$19,000], and needs to deposit 10% into an account of the ministry. As for the operation to accept collateral via transfer, a minimum capital is Riel 40,000,000 [US$9,500] is needed, and a deposit of 10% into the account of the ministry. That deposit can be taken out only when the ministry permits it.

“But the announcement does not define interest rates. They will be based on mutual agreement, but should not be against the law [but it is not said here what the law says].

“It is questioned how a license can protect the sound operation. An official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said, ‘If you have a license, your operation is legal. When the authorities go to check the operation, it is already legal. But if you operate illegally, to only then apply for a license cannot help.’

“It should be noted that previously, there was no need to have a licenses to run a pawn shop. Last year, immediately after the head of the government had issued an order, police strongly suppressed pawn shops, seizing pawn property at pawnshop unreasonably though there was no law, making some people to fear also when running such a shop now. Now, there is a law – but will there be major trouble again?” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5116, 3.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #404, 3.2.2010

  • Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldiers [of the Thai special border protection unit] Surrounded and Shot at [a group of] Khmer Citizens [who were hired to illegally enter Thailand and cut trees to be brought back to Cambodia], Injuring One [seriously] and Eleven Others Managed to Escape from the Shooting [at the Cambodian-Thai border]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2167, 3.2.2010

  • A Survey of the [US based] International Republican Institute (IRI): 79% Said that the [Cambodian] Government Is on the Right Track [it was conducted in 2009 with 1,600 Khmer citizens countrywide]
  • A Man Was Arrested for Raping a 5 Year Old Girl [Kompong Thom]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #596, 3.2.2010

  • Survey Findings of IRI [for 2009] Show that 52% of Khmer Citizens Are Still Poor and Become Poorer

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6874, 3.2.2010

  • 4,400 Victims Lodged Complaints in Case 002 [of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal where five former Khmer Rouge leaders are accused]; and [former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch’s Judgment Is Being Drafted by the Judges
  • The National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia Asked the Government for an Increase of the [minimal] Salary of Workers to US$93 per Month in 2010 [from 2006, the minimal salary is US$45]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #103, 3.2.2010

  • Cambodia Builds the Biggest Irrigation System in Battambang [planning to spend US$61 million, cooperating with the Chinese government in order to increase rice production for export]
  • Cambodia Conducted an Emergency Rescue Exercise at the Airport [assuming a plane were on fire – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5116, 3.2.2010

  • Pawn Shops Are Becoming Legal
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: The Best Way to Equally Distribute Benefits from the Economic Growth Is to Build Irrigation Systems for the People

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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Report about Human Trafficking Released by US Department of State – Tuesday 6.1.2009

Posted on 7 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“Cambodia is a base and a target country for victims of human trafficking. Women and children are trafficked to Thailand and to Malaysia for sexual exploitation. Some Cambodian men migrating on their own to Thailand in order to find jobst fall into a situation where they are forced to do hard labor on fishing boats, at construction sites, and in the agro-industry. Cambodian women and children are trafficked to Thailand to work in exploitative conditions as household servants, and some are forced to serve as prostitutes. Some Cambodian men migrate to seek jobs, but when they returned from India, South Korea, or Malaysia, they said that they were forced to do hard labor and fell into dept bondage. Children are trafficked to Thailand and to Vietnam to work as beggars, candy sellers, flower sellers, and shoes-shine boys.

“Some Khmer women migrated to Taiwan to get married through international marriage brokers, but at the end, they were trafficked to work as prostitutes. Trafficking of woman and girls, also affecting Vietnamese people, happens also at the Cambodian border, from rural areas to Phnom Penh, to Siem Reap, and to Sihanoukville. Cambodia is a targeted country to send Vietnamese girls to work as prostitutes. Cambodia is targeted also by foreign sex tourists who want to have sex with children, and there are more and more Asian men traveling to Cambodia to have sex with underage virgin girls.

“Even though the highest standards for the elimination of trafficking have not been reached, the government is making remarkable efforts to fight such trafficking. Now [in the Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 that had been released by the US Department of State on 4 June 2008], Cambodia was ranked for the first time since 2004 on the Tier 2 Watch List [of three tiers], because the government stepped up cooperation to fight human trafficking in the previous year. The government created a special working group against human trafficking on the national level in order to improve the possibility to respond better as an international agency against trafficking, to improve coordination with civil society, to increase law enforcement activities against traffickers and colluding officials, and to increase protecting activities. In February 2008, a new Cambodian law to crack down on human trafficking and sex exploitation was promulgated and came into force. This law provides power to the police to investigate all forms of trafficking, and it is a strong measure to bring human traffickers to prosecutions. High ranking officials of the government publicly announced a ‘no tolerance’ policy for officials benefiting from or colluding with human trafficking.

“The report pointed out that the Cambodian government continued to implement laws against human trafficking last year. But in February 2008, a new Cambodian law to crack down on human trafficking and sexual exploitation came into force. This law provides criminal penalties against all forms of human trafficking, including debt bondage, it states the punishment for wrongdoings which are sufficiently firm which will be applied against serious crimes such as rape. Because of insufficient resources, the government does not provide useful statistics about prosecutions made. The Ministry of Interior reported complaints received regarding 53 cases of human trafficking from April 2007 to March 2008. 35 cases were related to trafficking for sexual exploitation, with 60 victims, and 11 cases were trafficking for forced labor with 106 victims. Cambodian police had taken action on 43 cases. The Ministry of Interior went on to report that 65 traffickers were arrested during the period of this report, and the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had conducted hearings on 52 traffickers.

“The Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department of the Ministry of Interior reported 52 cases involved with 65 traffickers which led to 8 prosecutions. Non-government organizations reported 19 cases of human trafficking for forced labor, related to legal migrant workers who were forced to be salves in Malaysia, but labor recruitment companies in Cambodia normally paid monetary compensation, so they were not convicted for their crimes. It has not yet been seen that labor recruitment companies were prosecuted for being responsible for trafficking migrant workers. In February 2008, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen ordered the Ministry of Commerce to cancel the licenses of marriage brokerage companies, as it was considered that such business is a form of human trafficking.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6544, 6.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Chakraval, Vol.17, #2839, 6.1.2009

  • Son of Prum Manh [a well-known Ayay joking singer] Drove a Care and Hit Two Motorbikes, Then He Tried to Escape, but Was Finally Caught by Police [on the Russian Boulevard, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1839, 6.1.2009

  • Mr. Sok Sareth Is Removed by the Royal Government from His Work of Deputy Governor of Banteay Meanchey to another Position
  • Anonymous Leaflets Describing Officials of the Ministry of Education Who Continue Beyond Their Retirement Age
  • The Owner of the Nightclub [where there was a fire killing 62 people] in Bangkok Is Accused for Criminal Negligence [about safety systems and for allowing underage people to enter the club]
  • Israeli Troops Lunch Land Attacks into Gaza [number of deaths of Palestinians tolls 510, Israelis less than 10]
  • Sri Lanka Troops Are Hunting Rebel Leaders in a Deep Forest Region at the North [after taking control of the Tamil tiger rebel capital of Kilinochi]
  • France Rescues Two Cargo Ships and Arrests 19 Somali Pirates

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #176, 6.1.2009

  • Experts Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery Express Satisfaction about the Increase of the Rainy Season Paddy Rice Yield [they said that the yield will increase to 6 million tonnes, 500,000 tonnes more than in 2007]
  • A 20-Month-Old Girl and a 4-Year-Old Girl Were Raped by [two] Men Early January [one man involved in one of the two cases was arrested – Banteay Meanchey]
  • Chicken Feet and Bones with No Quality Are Imported by Merchants from Siam [Thailand – Poipet]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6544, 6.1.2009

  • Report about Human Trafficking Released by US Department of State
  • Drug Use Declines, but Spreads to Rural Areas; Formerly Drug Pills Were Used, but Now Drugs Are Abused by Using Syringes to Inject Drugs into the Blood
  • A Man Was Shot Dead when He Rushed to Help His Neighbor Who Was Being Robbed [six robbers armed with 1 stick, 4 short guns, and 1 AK Rifle are being looked for – Serei Saophoan, Banteay Meanchey]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3658, 6.1.2009

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Will Visit the Middle East in Order to Ask for Loans to Support His Government

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4787, 6.1.2009

  • National Co-Prosecutor [Ms. Chea Leang] Maintains Position to Not Accuse Additional Khmer Rouge Leaders
  • The Minister of Information [Mr. Khieu Kanharith]: Don’t Prohibit the Performances of the Opera ‘Where Elephants Weep’ – but Prohibit to Show It on Television
  • There Were 10,000 Cambodians Applying for US Visas in 2009 [4,400 for living in the United States of America, and 5,500 for visiting, study, and work]
  • Minister [of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery, Mr. Chan Sarun] Asks Citizens to Produce Prahok in Time [when there are many fish – in the Khmer farming society, Prahok, made from fish, is an important food during the dry season; Prahok can be preserved for a long time]
  • More Than 2,000 Mobile Phones Were Confiscated in Pawnshops, but Were Returned Again to the Shops; however They Are Prohibited to Continue to Make Business [with mobile phones, as this may encourage to steal mobile phones to bring them to pawn shops – Phnom Penh]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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