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Warrant issued for head of raided labour recruitment firm

A NATIONWIDE arrest warrant has been issued  to help ensure the capture of the head of labour firm T&P, following the discovery of underage trainees at the company’s training centre in Kampong Chhnang province.

Investigations that began on Saturday and concluded yesterday found a total of 113 trainees in the centre, 26 of which were underage, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department Chiv Phally said yesterday.  

“We are still seeking to catch the boss of T&P because we have a court warrant to pursue him anywhere,” he said, referring to T&P owner and director Sam Piseth.

Three more suspects – an alleged broker and two mothers from Kratie province accused of faking documents to change the age of their daughters – were also detained yesterday, he said. But Mouen Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Centre, said another suspected broker had escaped after police reportedly allowed him to ride his own motorbike while they escorted him to a location for questioning.

“Based on the information I received… the suspect was driving by himself followed by police, but unfortunately halfway [into the journey] a car stopped in front of the police motorbikes and the broker was able to escape,” he said.

He added that facilities where the police had planned to temporarily house the trainees had flooded, forcing them to take over the T&P training centre and use it as a temporary shelter for the women and girls.

Chiv Phally said he would submit documents to the Labour Ministry to close the company when he returned to Phnom Penh in coming days.

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