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'Broker' accused of trafficking workers

A broker accused of trafficking 11 people into forced labour at a juice factory in Thailand, while pretending to represent the Top Manpower labour recruitment firm, is being investigated by Pursat provincial police.

Parents of the alleged victims in Bakan district’s Metoek commune said yesterday that broker Sam Chhunleng had promised them their children could earn about 12,000 baht (US$393) per month working for a car factory as outsourced labourers from Top Manpower.

Villager Meas Thun, said yesterday that his daughter, Thun Mardy, and her husband, Khem Sokheang, had instead been sent to the juice factory in Thailand’s Sophan Buri district on May 24 where the owner has threatened to shoot them if they escaped. 

“I pitied my daughter and her husband when they asked me through the phone to help them leave there because they were working very hard with no wage and not enough food too,” he said.

He said Sam Chhunleng had sold his children and the nine other victims – who were all aged 18 or over - to the juice factory for 9,000 baht per person. None of them have returned.

Lok Sary, Pursat provincial police chief, said yesterday said he had yet find out where Sam Chhunleng is.

“We don’t yet have the information as to whether the man who is accused of being a broker really did cheat them or not because we have not questioned him yet,” he said.

An Bunhak, the general director of Top Manpower and director of the Association of Cambodian Recruitment Association, said yesterday he planned to sue Sam Chhunleng, who had absolutely no connection with his company, for defamation, 

“It is very unfair and it defames the name of my company that this person has used its name to cheat the villagers,” he said, adding his company didn’t have a branch in Pursat province.



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