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Police identify brokers

Migrant worker Nouv Vuthy (left), 21, holds hands with his mother on returning to Cambodia from Malaysia last month after escaping from a fishing vessel.

Police say they have discovered the identities of all the brokers responsible for the trafficking of seven Cambod-ian men, who were forced into slave labour aboard Thai fishing boats.

Last week, police revealed they had made one arrest and were tracking three more suspects following the return of the fishermen to the Kingdom on July 29.

The victims were rescued in May and early June during raids carried out on a plywood factory in Malaysia after they swam to shore to escape the boats. They described being forced into back-breaking labour and witnessing shootings and beatings.

Yesterday, officials revealed additional information had been sourced.

“We know there are a total of seven brokers involved. One has already been arrested, one has died and others have fled,” Chiv Phally, deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protect-ion department, said.

Although he could not reveal all the wanted men and women’s identities because “it might spoil the investigation”, Chiv Phally did confirm that one suspect was already dead.

One of the alleged brokers, 40-year-old Sean Han, died at some point this year in Malaysia. He is thought to have fallen from a boat and drowned.  

Police are now hunting for the remaining suspects. “Pol-ice believe they are in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey,” Chiv Phally said.

Trafficking victim Nouv Vuthy is supportive of the ongoing investigation.

“I hope it will be successful,” he said yesterday.



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