The Kampong Speu provincial police have advised pawnshops and other businesses that allow customers to pay on an instalment plan to stop holding their national ID cards as collateral or face legal action.
The announcement came after the provincial police and the National ID Bureau inspected three shops in Borseth district on December 2 to investigate whether they were following the practice of holding ID cards.
Provincial police chief Sam Samoun told The Post on December 5 that the National Bank of Cambodia, the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Identification (GDI), and the provincial administration have already issued a notice banning businesses from holding ID cards as collateral.
However, he said some shop owners are still violating the ban and over the course of three raids the authorities have recovered 300 ID cards. The authorities contacted the owners of the ID cards and returned them.
Samoun warned that if shop owners keep violating the ban, the authorities will take legal action because holding someone else’s ID card is illegal and anyone caught doing it could face prosecution and their businesses could be shut down.
“We’ve made the shop owners sign a contract promising to stop doing this, and in cases our police officers finds pawnshop owners repeating the offence, there will be legal consequences,” he said.
Samoun recommended that the shop owners or citizens who want to sell or buy items through an instalment plan should bring the ID card to the district’s One Window Service Office to make a copy for official use.
“The citizen’s identity cards cannot be held by others because it is necessary, for example, when people are in danger so that they can be identified,” he said.
He added that the operation would also make it easier for people to participate in elections such as the commune council elections scheduled for next June.
According to Samoun, the provincial police have not yet taken legal action against any pawnshop owners, as he wants to focus on educational measures first.
“But if any shop owners are caught doing this again, we will take action,” he said.