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Police Invited to Annual Crime Conference in US

Cambodia’s top policeman has been invited to an international counter-terrorism and organized crime conference in California, US and Cambodian officials said.

Representatives from 12 different countries are expected to attend the five-day conference, which begins Aug. 24, including Gen. Neth Savoeun, the national police chief, who a Web site for the conference said is scheduled as a guest speaker.

Lt. Gen. Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said Monday the ministry had made a decision “in principle” to send Neth Savoeun as head of a delegation, in an annual trip that used to be undertaken by the deceased former head of police, Hok Lundy.

Edward Yee, a police investigator in Orange County, Calif., and president of the Asian Gang Investigators Association of California, said the Cambodian police had changed plans several times on attendance.

“First they said they are coming, and then they said they are not coming, then they said they are coming, so I really don’t know,” he said. “What I will do, I can finally check with the FBI and make sure they are coming or not, and I will find out probably within the next two weeks.”

William Park, a detective supervisor in Los Angeles, Calif., said he was also unsure whether the Cambodians were coming.

“I do not know what is going on over there,” he said.

Park and Lee said the conference was meant to bring police together to share their experiences on international crime and terrorism.

“The purpose of the conference is to enhance knowledge and to network with local, state and federal and international law enforcement agencies from different countries,” Yee said.

Between 350 to 500 people are expected to attend the conference, which will be marking its 20th anniversary.

The annual conference proved a black eye for Hok Lundy, who was denied entry into the US in 2006 on suspicion he was involved with human trafficking. The police chief was allowed to visit the FBI in Washington in 2007.