Boats

Capsized Boat Passengers Suspected Illegal Immigrants

Authorities believe passengers of a sunken boat off the coast of Sihanoukville that led to the death of three people are illegal immigrants
Preah Sihanouk governor Kuoch Chamroeun visits rescued Chinese nationals, September 24, 2022. Kiripost/via Preah Sihanouk Administration
Preah Sihanouk governor Kuoch Chamroeun visits rescued Chinese nationals, September 24, 2022. Kiripost/via Preah Sihanouk Administration

The 41 Chinese passengers on a boat that capsized killing three people off the coast of Sihanoukville are being investigated by authorities as suspected illegal immigrants.

Deputy Governor Long Dimanche said that the passengers of the vessel that capsized on Friday are thought to be immigrants who crossed the border illegally.

He added that all those who are found to be in the country illegally will face Cambodian immigration laws.

“They are not tourists, maybe foreigners who crossed the border illegally. They do not have a valid ID card, maybe immigrants or perhaps victims of cheats from China,'' Long Dimanche told Kiripost on Tuesday.

Governor Kuoch Chamroeun (left) and Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian visit rescued Chinese nationals in hospital. Kiripost/via Preah Sihanouk Administration
Governor Kuoch Chamroeun (left) and Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian visit rescued Chinese nationals in hospital. Kiripost/via Preah Sihanouk Administration

He added that if they are illegal immigrants, authorities of the General Department of Immigration will deal with them in accordance with the law.

“We continue to research for any crackdown and punish those who commit those crimes. Trafficking in human beings of all kinds we need cooperation from all citizens and foreigners to do this work,” Dimanche said.

Of the 41 victims of the sunken boat between Poysareung and Koh Tang in Sihanoukville, 33 people have been rescued. Of these, 24 were rescued by Cambodian authorities and nine by Vietnamese authorities.

Three people have been found dead with the remainder missing, according to Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration.