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Cambodia bans screening of Chinese film about cyberscams

September 28, 2023 CambodaiChinese Crime & Legal

The government of Cambodia has rejected permission for the release of the well-known Chinese action movie “No More Bets,” citing worries that it may damage Cambodia’s standing abroad. The Chinese Embassy has been asked not to screen the movie, and the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has urged local authorities to outlaw it if it has already been aired or leaked.

The film “No More Bets” depicts the tale of a Chinese programmer and a model who are seduced into moving to a foreign nation by claims of well-paying professions but wind up victims of online gambling scams, especially those operating in Cambodia. Shen Ao’s video, which examines the increase of criminal activity in mainland Southeast Asia, notably online fraud linked to Chinese organised crime gangs, provides light on the issue. Thousands of people who were tricked into travelling to Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar under the false pretence of having a secure abroad job have been taken advantage of by these activities. The victims were then forced into a variety of frauds, including frauds using foreign currencies, nefarious cryptocurrency schemes, and investment frauds involving love.

Due in major part to the country’s strong gambling industry, which was heavily Chinese-focused during the COVID-19 epidemic, Cambodia has emerged as a prominent nexus for these illicit enterprises. According to a recent study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “scam compounds” have been found all across Cambodia and there have been at least 100,000 victims of coerced criminal activity in Cambodia alone.

The Cambodian Ministry of Culture raised worries that the plot of the movie, which takes place in part in Cambodia, would discourage foreign investors and travellers from going there. China’s strong “zero COVID” policy and worries about the scam pandemic have contributed to the sharp drop in Chinese travel to Cambodia since 2019.

Original story by: The Diplomat

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