Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trafficked fishermen released on ransom

Trafficked fishermen released on ransom

Trafficked fishermen released on ransom

A group of eight Cambodians held for ransom on a Thai fishing boat were freed over the weekend after their families paid 1,000 baht (US$32) per person to a human trafficker in Thailand who is still holding another nine victims, victims and police said yesterday.

The men, who hail from Torng Tralach commune, in Kampong Cham province’s Srey Santhor district, were allegedly trafficked to Thailand from bordering Koh Kong province last month by a Thai woman whose name remains unknown.

Torng Tralach commune chief Chas Choeun said yesterday he had filled a complaint to Koh Kong anti-human trafficking authorities seeking help to rescue those still trapped on a boat that set sail from Trat province’s Klorng Sun district, in southeast Thailand.

“These residents were promised work in Koh Kong with a salary of $200 a month, but they fell prey to work without salary in Thailand,” he said, urging the government to intervene.

Three other victims had returned earlier after also paying the ransom.

Victim Phorn Phoung, said his trip to work in Koh Kong ended up costing his family money.

“When I was transported to Thailand, I felt upset because I was seasick, could not eat and even worked without being paid, because [my salary] was considered compensation for the cost of transport,” he said.

Srey Thuch, police chief of the Koh Kong anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection office, said he had passed the case to higher authorities.

“More than 10 people returned home on their own while the remaining [men] said they didn’t want to come back, realising they had made an illegal crossing because they want to make a profit,” he said.

In Kongchit, Koh Kong coordinator of the rights group Licadho, said 20 people who were trafficked into Thailand through the province were intercepted last month.

“The masterminds have systematic connections with the authorities for transporting the people and the police don’t arrest them though they are identified and the court also hasn’t cracked down on human trafficking after cases were sent by the police,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of