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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Traffickers’ jail time grows

Traffickers’ jail time grows

Two Taiwanese nationals and members of a notoriously abusive recruitment agency were convicted yesterday for a second time of human trafficking.

Lin Li-chen, also known as Lin Yu-shin, 44, manager of Giant Ocean International Fishery Co, and her at-large husband, Chen Chun-mu, 49, were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment each for selling two Cambodian workers into slavery aboard a South African fishing vessel in 2010, said Kor Vany, presiding judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“It was ordered that they jointly pay $600 in unpaid salary and 8 million riel ($2,000) each as compensation to the two victims,” said Vandy, adding that an arrest warrant was filed for Chen.

Lin was arrested by the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit in March 2013 after police had received nearly 200 complaints that her company sold men into slavery. Lin’s husband, the marketing director, had already fled the country.

Giant Ocean received a licence to send workers to Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Kuwait in 2010, according to the Ministry of Labour. But rights groups assisting repatriated victims estimate the firm sent as many as 1,000 men to work in farther-flung countries like South Africa, Senegal, Fiji and Mauritius where they were forced to work with little or no pay.

The two Kampong Cham men who brought the latest charges against Giant Ocean said the company had recruited them to work in Malaysia for $150 a month plus bonuses.

In a landmark ruling last April, Lin and Chen were among six Giant Ocean employees sentenced to 10 years in jail and ordered to pay victims’ back wages and compensation.

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