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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGO pair sought over Korea work scam

NGO pair sought over Korea work scam

Authorities issued an arrest warrant last week for the director of a local NGO involved with an operation that allegedly bilked thousands out of money by claiming the company could find them work in South Korea.

Warrants for the arrests of Theun Samnang, head of NGO Mith Yeng (Our Friend), and his wife came after representatives from the embattled You Can Win Co Ltd said the pair took about $600,000 in trainers’ fees from the company and left.

Oun Sarath, 30, and Kim Sophat, 29, the director and marketing manager, respectively, of You Can Win allegedly charged their clients $100 for forms the firm advertised would permit them to legally work in South Korea, Than Thavorak, an attorney representing the Ministry of Labour, said.

But the illegitimate forms the company sold were not authorised by the ministry and provided clients no legal permission to work abroad.

More than 200 people protested in front of You Can Win International School in the capital’s Chamkarmon district on Friday, demanding their money back. In addition to application fees, many job-seekers paid about $3,000 for vocational training.

In a statement, the Ministry of Labour warned people to be wary of organisations claiming they can get clients authorisation. The Labour Ministry is the only entity with that authority and requires people to pass a test before approving them to work in South Korea.

“Please do not believe this NGO and other companies claiming to send workers to Korea without testing,” the statement said. “It is illegal.”

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