Casino & Human Trafficking

Clampdown on Illegal Foreign Workers Begins

A government crackdown on illegal foreign workers has started in Preah Sihanouk and Kandal provinces as part of the fight against human trafficking, with scores of arrests on the first day
Interior Minister Sar Kheng speaks at a meeting about fighting human trafficking, August 19, 2022. Kiripost via Chou Bun Eng
Interior Minister Sar Kheng speaks at a meeting about fighting human trafficking, August 19, 2022. Kiripost via Chou Bun Eng

A clampdown on illegal foreign residents has begun as part of a campaign to combat human trafficking, with ringleaders arrested and victims rescued on the first day of operations, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said on Friday.

The minister said work has begun to inspect the status of foreign residency in Preah Sihanouk and Kandal provinces to combat human trafficking. He added that authorities plan to meet relevant international partners to join the fight against human trafficking.

"Normally, when forces go to check, it is not true at all, and there are some that we have rescued, because the mission is to rescue and arrest ringleaders, and punish them according to the law," Kheng told reporters after a meeting about fighting human trafficking at the ministry.

He added that during Thursday's mission, police had detained some ringleaders and rescued some victims in the two provinces, including Cambodian-Americans, Vietnamese and Indonesian nationals.

Kheng’s comments come after a video emerged online on Thursday by Cambodia China Times showing people jumping into a river to neighboring Vietnam from a casino in Kandal Province.

Kheng said he does not have clear information yet about the incident but some people have already been taken into custody.

“I do not have clear information yet, but the initial information is that, as far as I know, there are Vietnamese nationals who may have come to work illegally. People have spoken inconsistently about the incident, and then ran away from the casino, but we detained some ringleaders and victims, who have not been to Vietnam yet,” Kheng said.

On Friday, Vietnam Express reported that authorities have taken in 35 men and five women after they crossed Binh Di River from Cambodia. One was swept away and another was caught by the casino owners.

They were escaping ill-treatment by their employer, the Express reported, adding they went to Cambodia and worked at several casinos and online games, but had been overworked and not given pay or rest.