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Brokers caught ‘red handed’ with victims

Four suspects who allegedly tried to traffic six men across the border to work in the notoriously exploitative Thai fishing industry were sent to court in Kampong Cham yesterday.

Police said that distressed phone calls from the mother of two other victims, who said their children had disappeared in Thailand, led them to conduct a raid on a bus on which the suspects were transporting the six men to the border.

Thol Meng, deputy police chief of Kampong Cham’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile police, said all the victims had now been rescued.

“The suspects admitted that they sent [previous victims] illegally across the border to become boat crew in the Gulf of Thailand near the Malaysian border,” he said.

One of the brokers, he said, was a boatman from Thailand who had come to Cambodia to lure victims with promises of lucrative pay in his homeland.

Thy Somalia, a provincial official at rights group Adhoc, warned that many villagers were still unaware of the inherent danger of seeking migrant work.

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