Cambodian authorities on Tuesday deported 19 Japanese nationals arrested over online-related scams in Preah Sihanouk province.
The Japanese Embassy in Cambodia has confirmed that the 19 Japanese were found to be illegal immigrants in Cambodia and were deported to Japan on Tuesday afternoon.
“The Embassy understands that the 19 Japanese nationals were deported to Japan this afternoon for the reason of illegal stay in Cambodia as decided by the Cambodian authorities,” the Embassy told Kiripost via email.
A Kiripost photographer saw a van with police escorts at Phnom Penh International Airport. It is believed the men may have departed on a Malaysia Airlines flight.
Preah Sihanouk Provincial deputy governor Long Demanche said that authorities received a report on January 24 of the confinement of 19 Japanese at Mary Beach Hotel & Resort.
“The control team found many living rooms and work rooms, which had many laptops and phones. In short, maybe they're allegedly making scam calls to Japan from the Southeast Asian country, according to data transferred,” Demanche told Kiripost.
However, due to language problems, they decided to send the men to the Central Department of National Police Security in Phnom Penh to proceed further and carry out procedures in cooperation with the Japanese police and National Police in the future, he added.
According to The Japan Times, Tokyo police obtained arrest warrants for 19 Japanese men staying in Cambodia suspected of making fraudulent phone calls to Japan, investigative sources claim.
The news outlet reported on Thursday that the 19 Japanese men are in their 20s to 50s and were staying in Cambodia to allegedly make scam calls to Japan.