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FBI plans extra office in Cambodia to target international criminals

By Dan Byrne for AMLi

The FBI intends to set up a new office alongside its embassy in Cambodia as part of an effort to apprehend criminals – complementing an already-existing task force with AML objectives.  

Although unknown when this office will be operational, its stated aim is to target known American fugitives and combat terrorism, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The pre-existing task force is also a collaborative effort between the FBI and the Cambodian National Police, the American embassy in Cambodia told Reuters.

It was set up to combat various types of financial crime as well, as crimes against children, and follows an agreement between the authorities from the two countries in 2019.

The FBI has over 60 offices in cities across the globe. These offices allow the American domestic intelligence and law enforcement agency to complement their US-based work with additional coverage spanning more than 180 countries.

The focus on global offices to combat financial crime reflects increasing worldwide awareness that perpetrators of usually act in networks, across international borders, and require regional or even worldwide enforcement to intercept.

However, although established through diplomatic negotiation, FBI presence in Cambodia exists amid increasing tensions between the two nations in recent years.

The country’s closer ties to China have put a strain on international relations, steering them further towards low points not seen since the Cold War.

Additionally, criticism from the American government over the court-mandated dissolution of Cambodia’s main opposition party in 2017 prompted an angry backlash.  

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