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Families say company duped them

Family members of a group of Cambodian workers arrested with fake passports in Thailand on Friday claimed yesterday they had got them through a recruitment agency in Cambodia – an allegation the company’s president denied.

“I paid $500 to the agency for each of my sons,” said Ngoun Srey of his two sons, aged 19 and 15, from Kandal province.

Srey alleged that the recruitment agency in question – Anny Rita Best Manpower – had given the 15-year-old a fake name and age to ensure he was eligible to work.

“The company changed the name of my 15-year-old son to Den Pitau, and his age to 18,” Srey said.

Nai Hau was confused as to why his son, 22, was working illegally in Thailand, considering he had forked out a significant amount of money to the recruitment agency for a passport.

“I gave $500 to the company for the passport,” he said. “So why are they accusing my son and others of working illegally?”

According to Hau, Anny Rita Best Manpower promised that the workers would receive consistent work and significant pay once they crossed the border.

“I won’t allow my son to work abroad again. It’s just that the brokers and the company persuaded me that there was plenty of work there and that he would be on a high salary,” he said.

A man who identified himself as the company’s president, but declined to give a name, denied the allegations yesterday.

“We don’t make passports, we go through the authorities,” he said. “We will investigate this case with diplomatic officials.”

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