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After Chief’s Death, Police Work Continues

Cambodian police will continue their counterterrorism efforts with its new national police chief, following the death earlier this month of Hok Lundy, a senior official said.

The late chief, who died in a helicopter crash in Svay Rieng province, was replaced by his deputy, Gen. Neth Savoeun, who will continue cooperation with the US and other police work, said the general’s deputy, Lt. Gen. Sok Phal.

“We have a lot of cases in cooperation with the US that we have not opened for the public to know,” Sok Phal said Monday, as guest on “Hello VOA.”

Cambodia is a willing ally in the US war on terror. The leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, Hambali, sojourned in Phnom Penh prior to his 2003 arrest in Bangkok.

Sok Phal also said Cambodia fought its own terrorists, the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, which mounted a small-scale attack in the capital in 2000 and whose leader, Chhun Yasith, is now in a US prison.

Meanwhile, Sok Phal said, “police have a clear plan to protect public order and security and make sure people live in peace and safety.”

Cambodian authorities work to combat drug trafficking, transnational crime and terrorism, with training from the US, he said.

Facing criticism for police officials who are not fired despite wrongdoing, Sok Phal said such officials can be fired, demoted or replaced.

National police work hard, he said, otherwise the prisons would be empty.

Meanwhile, the police continue to defend territory and protect leaders, businessmen, tourists, embassy personnel, residents and members of foreign delegations, he said.

Cambodia remained secure and stable, without separatist groups or proclamations for independent states.