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Mobius report 93/2022 – IED Placed Outside a Casino, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

On December 15, 2022, an IED was planted near the entrance to the Nagaworld-2 hotel-casino complex in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The area was cordoned off and two hours later, the IED initiated, without being neutralized. The next day, four Chinese citizens and one Cambodian citizen were arrested on suspicion of planting the device.

In February 2019, another IED incident was documented at a casino-hotel in the city of Poipet, in western Cambodia, near the border with Thailand. An IED fitted with a timer was found in a bathroom in the casino. It was removed and destroyed outside the building.

Casinos are often associated with the underworld, and the incidents examined in this report may indicate the use of IEDs for the purpose of intimidation or extortion. The arrest of Chinese nationals suggests the involvement of Chinese underworld gangs. This would not be surprising given the active involvement of Chinese criminal organizations in countries in the Golden Triangle and Cambodia, which engage in a variety of illegal activities, including gambling.

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