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Four human trafficking rings identified after 42 Vietnamese escape Cambodia casino

By Ngoc Tai, Huy Phong   August 23, 2022 | 12:04 am PT
Vietnamese police have identified four human trafficking rings involved in the smuggle of 42 Vietnamese who escaped from a Cambodian casino last week.

"These rings operate in many localities, cooperating with accomplices in Cambodia to bring Vietnamese into casinos as illegal workers," Colonel Dinh Van Noi, director of An Giang Province's police department, said Tuesday.

Cambodian authorities are cooperating with Vietnam's An Giang police and other relevant authorities to complete procedures and return 11 other Vietnamese through diplomatic channels.

A casino in Cambodia, where 42 Vietnamese escaped from on August 18, 2022, stands across a river border with Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tai

A casino in Cambodia, where 42 Vietnamese escaped from on August 18, 2022, stands across a river border with Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tai

Cambodia's Kandal Province, where 42 Vietnamese escaped from a casino and swam across a river to An Giang on Aug. 18, has eight casinos in total. One stopped operations due to Covid-19, while the others are still active and employ many foreign workers, including Vietnamese.

Workers said they were persuaded to come to Cambodia either through social media or acquaintances, enticed with promises of "easy jobs and high salaries." However, when they arrived at the casinos, they were shocked to learn the jobs were not what they imagined.

Every day, workers are forced to go online to trick people into pouring money into online games. If they fail to meet quotas, they would either be beaten, have their salaries seized, or be sold to other casinos. If they want to leave, they would have to contact their families to pay ransoms.

On Monday, police of An Giang detained two people, Nguyen Thi Le and Le Van Danh, to be investigated for "brokering illegal exit in Vietnam."

Cambodian authorities also arrested a Chinese national who owns the casino where the 42 Vietnamese escaped from. The Chinese has admitted to exploiting the workers.

The 42 Vietnamese workers swam across Binh Di River, the natural border between Vietnam and Cambodia.

A total 40 succeeded, but one of them, a 16-year-old boy, was swept away by the water and another was recaptured by casino guards. Of the 40, five are women and the rest, men.

 
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