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US Finds Cambodian Ports Insufficient in Anti-Terrorism Standards

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

A helicopter parks on a USS Gary warship docked at Sihanoukville port some 185 kilometers (115 miles) southwest of capital Phnom Penh, file photo.

A helicopter parks on a USS Gary warship docked at Sihanoukville port some 185 kilometers (115 miles) southwest of capital Phnom Penh, file photo.

Cambodia’s ports are failing to maintain adequate anti-terrorism standards, according to a US report.

The ports, in both Phnom Penh and the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk, will be asked to put in place more security measures before ships leaving from them can enter the US, according to a report from the US Department of Homeland Security.

If the ports do not improve their security measures, ships that have passed through them will have to put in place their own, or be turned away from US ports.

“The Coast Guard has determined that the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port and the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in Cambodia are no longer maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures,” the Sept. 15 report says.

Lou Kim Chhun, director of the Sihanoukville port, told VOA Khmer he has not seen the report, but he said Cambodia is not careless with its shipping regulations.

“This report has not yet arrived at our port,” he said. “I’ve just come to work today after the Pchum Ben holiday, and we will wait to see the report’s evaluation.”

Similar controls are already placed on Cambodia’s smaller ports, but this is the first time its major ports have come under the policy.

Sok Kim San, head of the international checkpoint department of the Phnom Penh port, said his staff scan goods that come through and “never have found goods which suggest acts of terrorism.”

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