The FBI will open an office in Cambodia to track down fugitive American criminals as well as combat human trafficking and money laundering, a bureau spokesperson said Tuesday.
The office will be at the headquarters of Cambodia’s national police and the two agencies will work together on a case-by-case basis, the spokesperson said.
“Responsible law enforcement cooperation is an important part of our bilateral relationship. This task force will enhance the commitment to support the rule of law in Cambodia and will help protect the Cambodian people,” the spokesperson said in a statement to The Washington Times.
It is not clear when the office will be established.
The FBI and Cambodian National Police signed a memorandum of understanding in 2019 to create a joint task force to target crimes against children, financial crimes and locate international fugitives.
The new office comes despite a tense relationship between the two nations. U.S. officials have criticized Cambodia for its close ties to China and dissolving the government opposition party.
Last week, the Pentagon complained about the demolition of a U.S-funded tactical headquarters for the Cambodian navy. Prime Minister Hun Sen said the base was razed to make room for renovations.
Cambodia has denied claims that it struck a secret deal with China, its biggest ally, to station Chinese forces at the base.
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