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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal crossings foiled at Thai, Lao borders

Illegal crossings foiled at Thai, Lao borders

Authority in Stung Treng and Banteay Meanchey provinces briefly detained and turned away more than 100 Cambodians attempting to enter Laos and Thailand for work on Wednesday night.

At the Trapaing Kreal International checkpoint on the border of Laos, Stung Treng provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police chief Sun Leang said they stopped two buses containing 68 Cambodian men who were attempting to cross the border.

He said all of the men were sent to the provincial police station for questioning and verification of their legal documents.

“The police found their identity cards, family books and birth certificates,” he said. “[But] they lacked a letter from the company in Laos they will work for, letters from the Labour Ministry and passports.”

He said all of the workers, who were between the ages of 18 and 30, had been lured to Laos by employment brokers who made false promises of high salaries across the border.

The workers were sent back to their homes in Pursat province after being “educated” as to the perils of illegal border crossings and police said they are searching for the broker who was attempting to send them to Laos.

On the same night in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town, police stopped 65 Cambodians attempting to illegally cross the border into Thailand.

The Poipet town police chief said they had been trying to cross the border in order to find work in agriculture, but were briefly detained before being educated and turned away from the border by police.

“We don’t stop them if they go [to Thailand] to work legally. We protect them in order to prevent them being shot or arrested for illegally crossing the border,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tep Nimol at tep.nimol@phnompenhpost.com

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