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Duo nabbed for extortion

Two men, suspected of trafficking workers into Thailand, were arrested yesterday in Bantey Meanchey’s province’s border town of Poipet after allegedly attacking a returning migrant in a bid to extort cash.

Banteay Meanchey military commander Ov Borin said Sam Sokchan, 21, and Oun Pisie , 23, were detained for the alleged assault of Nhanh Lak, 23, but also stood accused of illegally transporting workers across the border.

Borin said that the pair yesterday beat Lak and stole his phone after he failed to hand over 400 baht ($11) upon returning from Thailand to the Kingdom.

“They are not only suspected of [attacking him] but also of being brokers who take workers to Thailand for jobs illegally,” Borin said.

Lak was taken to hospital with facial injuries, he said, while the suspects were sent to the provincial court for questioning.

Cambodian workers lured by brokers with promises of jobs in Thailand are often forced into appalling working conditions, Borin said.

Sin Nam Yong, chief of Poipet village, which is near the Poipet border crossing, said hundreds of workers were sent back from Thailand almost daily for crossing into the country illegally.

“When we question them, they always confirm that they went to Thailand through an illegal border with a broker,” Nam Yong said.

“So arresting all the brokers is the best way to cut down illegal migration.”

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