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Cambodian diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Cambodia is moving to annul diplomatic passports issued to people not born in Cambodia. This from the The Phnom Penh Post today.

The report says that analysts believe the move may be in response to Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra using a Cambodian passport to register as a company director in Hong Kong.

The government last week released a letter of instruction on the provision of diplomatic passports to foreigners appointed as advisers and assistants to the political elite and government institutions.

The two-page instruction released last week by PM Hun Sen, which The Post received over the weekend, says some foreigners appointed as advisers and assistants to high-ranking officials and institutions had become naturalised Cambodians and applied for diplomatic passports.

The letter of instruction says in order to prevent such passports being used incorrectly, as stated in a 2008 sub-decree, the government instructs that Cambodian diplomatic passports must not be issued to those who are not Cambodia-born unless it is a “most necessary case”.

“All ministries and institutions have the duty to collect the diplomatic passports that they applied for their advisers and assistants who are not Cambodian by birth, and hand the passports over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation no later than a month from the date of this instruction,” said the letter, which was signed by Cambodian PMHun Sen.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the duty to check and annul diplomatic passports already issued for individuals who are not Cambodian by birth,” the letter states.

It also orders the Ministry of Interior to prevent the use of such passports to enter and depart Cambodia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ket Sophann told The Post on Sunday that his ministry had requested PM Hun Sen to issue the instruction.

He also declined to comment on what action will be taken should foreigners still use such passports.

The government’s instruction came as Hong Kong-based English language daily South China Morning Post last week reported that Yingluck, the fugitive former Thai PM, had used a Cambodian passport to register a company in Hong Kong last August.

The government denied last week that a Cambodian passport had ever been issued to her.

SOURCE: The Nation, via The Phnom Penh Post – Asian News Network

 

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