Cambodian border authorities tighten checks due to monkeypox scare

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After the first case of monkeypox was imported into the country, authorities in provinces bordering Thailand have tightened checks at land border checkpoints to halt any illegal attempts to enter Cambodia, with police targeting brokers who smuggle people.

The move was made in response to the Nigerian man who tested positive for monkeypox in Thailand and fled to Cambodia and entered the Kingdom illegally at a border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province, and was later apprehended by police in Phnom Penh on Saturday and sent to the Khmer-Soviet hospital for treatment.

A Cambodian woman named Sokunthea, who was in close contact with the infected Nigerian, witnessed the man illegally cross the border in Banteay Meanchey province.

“My friend crossed the border illegally by paying a broker $600 to deliver him by taxi to Cambodia,” she said.

In addition, Director of the investigation and Enforcement Department Lieutenant General Kem Sarin said yesterday that if authorities confirm that the man had crossed the border illegally, he will be detained in accordance with immigration laws.

According to Article 29 of the Immigration Law, any alien who without authorisation enters the Kingdom of Cambodia by illegal means and contrary to the provisions of this law shall be subjected to imprisonment from three to six months prior to being deported.

The law also states that anybody who assists a person to enter the country illegally also faces a prison sentence.

Lt Gen Sarin added that since the fugitive has tested positive for monkeypox, there is also the legislation on communicable diseases, however, the Ministry of Health is still debating this.

Agencies

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