Teenage escapee from Cambodian casino found dead

By Ngoc Tai   August 20, 2022 | 12:11 am PT
Teenage escapee from Cambodian casino found dead
Vietnamese who escaped from a Cambodian casino stay at the Da Phuoc Cultural House in An Giang's An Phu District, August 19, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tai
The body of a 16-year-old boy, part of a group of 42 people escaping from a Cambodian casino Thursday, was found in a river section of An Giang's An Phu District.

Dinh Van Noi, director of the police department of southern Vietnam's An Giang Province, said on Saturday authorities were performing an autopsy and would hand over the body to the victim's family in Gia Lai Province in the Central Highlands for funeral purposes.

Police said an investigation was ongoing to bust potential human trafficking rings involved in the case. Escapees from the casino said there were over 2,000 Vietnamese brought to Cambodia as illegal workers in several casinos.

An Giang police cooperated with counterparts of Cambodia's Kandal Province on Friday to search for all illegal workers being held at local casinos so they could return to Vietnam. Cambodian police said they found 11 people being held at casinos in Chrey Thum Commune.

Nguyen Thanh Binh, chairman of An Giang People's Committee, said authorities have tested the escapees for Covid-19 and narcotics, and all tests returned negative. Once the investigation is complete, the escapees would return to their families, he added.

On Thursday, 42 Vietnamese working in a casino in Cambodia's Kandal Province escaped and swam across a river to return to Vietnam due to their imprisonment and torture. A total 40 succeeded, but one was swept away by the water and another was recaptured by the casino guards.

Spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang on Friday said Vietnam has requested Cambodia to assist in the investigation and help find missing people regarding the case.

Police in An Giang detained two people on Saturday for involving in the smuggling of Vietnamese to Cambodia. Investigation found six of the 40 people who escaped from Cambodia on Thursday were smuggled there by Nguyen Thi Le, 42, and Le Van Danh, 34.

Dinh Van Noi, director of An Giang police, said the victims said more than 2,000 Vietnamese had been smuggled to Cambodia to work in casinos.

Noi proposed that the Ministry of Public Security establish a national mission to investigate the smuggling of Vietnamese to Cambodia.

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