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Suspected broker charged in trafficking case

A suspected broker accused of trafficking more than 50 Cambodians into forced labour in Thailand has been charged by officials.

Heang Sytha, the  director of Pursat province’s human trafficking and juvenile protection department, said yesterday  43- year-old Sam Chhunleng was charged on Thursday and was being held in prison.

Sam Chhunleng is accused of misleading as many as 60 people into moving to Thailand for work. Posing as a representative of the labour recruitment  Top Manpower, he is believed to have said that workers could earn about 12,000 baht (US$393) a month in a car factory.

The parents of those who took up the offer said the workers had instead been sent on May 24 to a juice factory in Thailand’s Sophan Buri district, where the owner had threatened to shoot them if they escaped.

“The prosecutor has charged the broker, Sam Chhunleng, with unlawful recruitment for exploitation,”  Heang Sytha said.

Authorities are investigating allegations that a second man is involved. “We will try our best to arrest the brokers and help the workers to get back home,” Heang Sytha said.

An Bunhak, the general director of Top Manpower, said last week he planned to sue Sam Chhunleng, who had absolutely no connect-ion with his company, for defamation.

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