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Illegal fishermen busted

Authorities in Koh Kong province arrested 26 Vietnamese nationals on Tuesday after they found the group illegally living and fishing off of King Island in Kiri Sakor district.

Immigration police found one person with a Vietnamese identification card, while the rest were undocumented, said Gen Mara, chief of immigration police in Koh Kong.

They seized seven boats from the suspects.

“We arrested them, because they . . . have been staying on King Island without authorisation,” Mara said yesterday. “Almost none of them had any documentation.”

The suspects are being questioned by police, Mara said.

The round-up came as part of an ongoing campaign to arrest Vietnamese people illegally living in Koh Kong, Mara said.

On Monday, police there arrested 13 Vietnamese nationals.

In Kong Chet, a coordinator for rights group Adhoc in Koh Kong, yesterday said he welcomed the police’s efforts.

He said the number of Vietnamese businesses seems to have increased in the area.

“They cross illegally to fish, and then they stay . . . and run businesses in Cambodian territory,” Kong Chet said. “We believe that there are more.”

The arrests are part of nationwide crackdown on illegal immigrants, with over 200 Vietnamese nationals arrested in Phnom Penh last month.



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