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Cambodia police claim to have rescued 5 Vietnamese trafficking victims

By Ngoc Anh   August 31, 2022 | 09:18 pm PT
Cambodia police claim to have rescued 5 Vietnamese trafficking victims
A casino in Cambodia's Kandal Province as seen from Vietnam's An Giang Province, August 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tai
Police in Cambodia are holding five Vietnamese nationals who they suspect are trafficking victims though the latter have denied they were being held.

They found them during a raid on a location in Village 4, Sangkat 4 Area, Sihanoukville, on Tuesday.

The raid followed a call received by their anti-trafficking hotline on Monday, Khmer Times quoted Lieutenant Colonel Phan Veasna, director of the national police command center, as saying in a report Wednesday.

The four men and a woman they rescued told them they had not been held or ill-treated. But it is known what they do in Cambodia.

The police announced last week the setting up of a hotline, 117, in Vietnamese, English and Chinese to receive complaints about illegal confinement of people.

The public has been encouraged to call the hotline as part of efforts to eliminate human trafficking and illegal detention, it said.

Several cases of Vietnamese citizens being tricked and smuggled to Cambodia have made headlines recently in both the local and international media.

In mid-August a group of 42 Vietnamese escaped from a Cambodian casino in Kandal Province and tried to swim across a river to get back to Vietnam.

While 40 succeeded, a teenager drowned and another man was recaptured by the casino. The escapees said they had been forced to work in harsh conditions and beaten frequently.

At a press conference in Hanoi on August 22, Colonel Khong Ngoc Oanh of the Ministry of Public Security said thousands of people could have been smuggled to Cambodia to be exploited, and rescuing all of them would be difficult.

Most trafficked workers are promised "easy jobs with high wages" only to be taken to casinos and production facilities where they virtually held prisoners, he said.

In the first half of this year the Vietnamese police managed to rescue over 250 people with the help of Cambodian authorities.

 
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