Kamrieng district police in Battambang province are searching for a suspected people broker who fled after 38 individuals were arrested while attempting to illegally cross the border into Thailand on the night of August 21 near the Ou Chamlang Bridge in Ou Chamlang village of Ta Sen commune.

Kamrieng district deputy police chief Nget Vanna said on August 23 that district police were investigating the case and hoped to arrest the suspect who is believed to have brokered the failed border crossing.

However, the broker managed to escape as border police unit 819 were arresting the other people.

Vanna added that on August 22 at 11:30am, the district’s specialised police received from the border police the detainees, of whom 15 were females and 13 minors, for questioning.

Citing the detainees, Vanna said that they had come from different provinces, such as Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum. The broker phoned them when to cross the border. Each person had to pay 5,500 baht to the broker to take them to their workplace across the border.

“When they arrived in Kamrieng district, motor taxi drivers picked them up at a cassava plantation in Ou Chamlang of Ta Sen commune free of charge. At 8pm, the broker was taking them across the border when they were arrested by police. The broker wore a hat and a mask, so they could not identify him,” he added.

Vanna continued that these people are victims. So, after questioning the police instructed them and made them sign a contract. They were allowed to return to their homes.