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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Finland grants Visa to Cambodian Ex-police chief

Cambodia's reactions came promply after Finland announced its decision to grant a visa to Heng Peo. According to Deutsche Press Agentur(DPA). Cambodian foreign minister Hor Namhong had sent a letter to his Finnish colleguea Erkki Tuomioja in which he accuse Finland of habouring criminals. "it is with great consternation that we learned that your government has decided to issue a visa to Heng Peo, a convicted criminal," DPA quoted the letter as saying.

In the angry letter, the cambodian foreirgn minister claimed that this was the second times Finland had offerd shelter to a convicted Cambodian criminal, referring to Sok Yoeun, who is a cambodian opposition party member charged with taking paart in an attempt on Priminister's life in 1998

There are currently many criminals serving jail terms in Cambodia prisons. We should be happy to send them all to Finland," Hor Namhong sarcasticly wrote.

Heng Peo, 49, has been detained for immigration offences in Malaysia since october. He claimed that he will be torctured and executed if deported to Cambodia. Finland's decision to grant the Visa after repeated appeals by non-governmental organistions, members of the European Parliament, and Cambodian refugees. Read more!

Cambodia busted auto smuggling ring

Phnom penh(dpa) - Cambodia announced on Wednesday that 29 officials had been removed from their posts and anothe 10 had been suspended during a probe into the smuggling fo hundreds fo vihicles of neighboring Thailand since March.

The 39 officials included a provincial police chief, two provincial governor officials and the chief and the deputy chief of a customs' office, according to the government's anti-corruption chief, Om yentieng.

The smugging of the mainly luxury vehicles into Cambodia across the nationwestern border has been conservatively estimated to cost the government hundred of thousand dollars in the cost of customs' revenue.

The 10 suspended officials will remain without pay for six months, Yintieng said.

What we have done is not fovour for donors but a favour for cambodians people, said Yentieng who is also an advisor to priminister Hun Sen.

International donors have been pressuring the aid-dependant country to crack down on corruption or face on possible sanctions. They also demanded tough anti-corruption legislation which, despite the government promises, has yet to send to the national assembly.

Yentieng answered criticism that the penalties might be too linient by promising even tougher action if subsequent investigations showed the smuggling had not ceased.

"The education of one person may influence100", he said.

He also promise to protect the identities of those who had informed on the officials during his comment's three weeks long investigation

Hun Sen announced this year that all right hand drive vehicles such as those from Thailand which were imported into Cambodia before March would be legalized, but those were imported after deadline would be deemed illegal.

On Tuesday Finance Minister Keat Chhon warned that corruption was crippling the country 's economy and called for tougher measures. He has previously estimated that smuggling robbed the impoverished nation of aound 20 per cent of customs' revenue. Read more!