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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Third suit targets labour firm

Third suit targets labour firm

Photo by: Sovan Philong

A manager addresses trainee workers at VC Manpower Co ahead of a visit from media outlets.

A LICENCED labour recruitment firm in Phnom Penh is under police investigation for at least the third time in the last month, after a woman claimed her daughter was mistreated while undergoing training.

However, a representative from the firm, VC Manpower Co, insisted the allegations were baseless.

Pol Khemra, the deputy director of the Department of Police at the Interior Ministry, said officers dropped by a VC Manpower training facility in the capital’s Sen Sok district yesterday to investigate the woman’s complaint.

He said officials spoke briefly with the company’s director, but that the director later fled while they were speaking with other staff members.

“It is difficult for us to summon the director because we don’t know his identity,” Pol Khemra said. “I have to talk to the prosecutor to see whether we have to arrest him or not.”

The visit to the training centre came after a woman complained that her daughter had been mistreated during her three-month stay at the centre.
“The company banned my daughter from going out or calling her family and fought with her,” said Long Sakan.

She said her daughter called her Monday and told her she wanted to come home, which is when she launched a complaint with the Interior Ministry. But on Tuesday, the company sent the daughter to Malaysia.

A company official disputed Long Sakan’s allegations.

“We take good care of all the workers who stay with the company,” said Sen Ly, the director of a separate VC Manpower training centre. He said he spoke with the woman’s daughter yesterday.

“I spent about an hour talking to her ... to make sure she is fine, and she asked me to tell her family about her safety,” and he had recorded the conversation, he said.

“I have enough evidence to face the complainant face to face in court,” he said.

Korng Sokhorn, deputy chief of the National Police in charge of justice, confirmed yesterday that police were investigating the firm, but declined to elaborate on the case.

“If we see any abnormal cases in any company ... we will take legal action,” he said.

VC Manpower is one of at least 28 organisations licensed by the Ministry of Labour to train and send workers abroad.

In July, labour officials investigated the agency after a woman fled one of its training centres and claimed she had been held against her will. Days later, authorities announced they had found 24 underage girls being trained by VC Manpower. The Labour Ministry initially barred the company from recruiting new clients, but then absolved it of wrongdoing soon after.

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