IMF Trains Cambodian Customs Officers in Investigation Techniques

General


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has provided investigation training for officers of the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

In a report released in Washington on Monday, the IMF said 22 officers took part in a five-day training course supported by Japan at the National Customs School in Phnom Penh in April.

‘ALL ASPECTS OF THE INVESTIGATION PROCESS’

‘The training programme covered all aspects of the investigation process, including the investigation mindset, case management, questioning techniques, legislative knowledge, and elements of offence,’ it said.

“The knowledge of customs legislation pervaded most aspects of the training and was fully tested in hypothetical scenarios, using real-life examples,’ the report said. These included passenger baggage, post-clearance audit and suspected smuggling.

The IMF said training materials were based on the GDCE’s own policy documents and standard operating procedures in other countries including those use
d by the Australian Federal Police.

‘NEED FOR AN ENHANCED INVESTIGATION CAPACITY’

Participants discussed an IMF technical report on developing a customs investigations programme in Cambodia.

‘There was consensus of the need for an enhanced investigation capacity, but the group thought they could not contribute to how this was to be achieved,’ the IMF said.

‘The mechanics of how the milestones … were to be met was outside their sphere of influence.’

The group suggested that the GDCE Director of Prevention and Suppression discuss the report with Deputy Director General Se Sokhorn to carry out its recommendations.

‘LENGTHY PROCESS’

Participants meanwhile noted a government call for “greater anti-smuggling efforts’ last year and that the GDCE would be the lead agency in this area.

‘This was a worthy inclusion,’ it said, ‘and a point of leverage in establishing agreement with other government and law-enforcement agencies.

‘It was agreed that implementation of the report would be a lengthy process.’

The I
MF said next steps included negotiations with other law-enforcement agencies to reach a framework agreement for greater customs involvement in major cases.

Other steps include revising the GDCE investigations mandate to refer to functions assigned to departments and enhancing investigation powers – particularly Article 52 and 54 of the Law on Customs.

The GDCE has 11 departments, a secretariat and the school at its headquarters as well as municipal and provincial branches and offices.

‘IMPRESSIVE DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND CREDIBILITY’

‘The trainees came from headquarters, the airport, and provincial posts,’ the IMF said.

‘The presence of senior officers indicated strong support for the training and their presence contributed an impressive depth of knowledge and credibility to discussions.’

Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse