Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian men trafficked to India to be returned this week

Cambodian men trafficked to India to be returned this week

Cambodian men trafficked to India to be returned this week

EIGHT Cambodian men who are believed to have been trafficked to India will be repatriated Wednesday after spending six months in an Indian detention centre, officials said Monday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said the men were transported to India on a Thai fishing vessel.

“All of them are Cambodian citizens...” he said. “If we did not help them on time, they would be working like slaves on a fishing boat for the rest of their lives.”

The men are believed to have struck a deal with a middleman in Cambodia that they thought would lead to jobs in Thailand, but they then found themselves in Indian waters unexpectedly, Koy Kuong said.

“They knew nothing until they woke up in the middle of the ocean,” he said.

Authorities were made aware of the case after relatives of the men reported them missing, Koy Kuong said. At first, Indian officials planned to send the eight men to Thailand, believing they were Thai citizens because they had fake Thai passports.

“Our Cambodian embassy officials in New Delhi have worked with Indian authorities to find the necessary documents needed to secure their return to Cambodia,” Koy Kuong said. He added that he was unsure how long the eight men had been out of the country.

Thun Saray, president of local rights group Adhoc, said that although Thailand may be a more common destination for victims of human trafficking, there have been other cases in which Cambodians have been sent to countries such as India, East Timor and South Korea.

“Migrants are often easily cheated by brokers because they don’t have land, so they have to go find a job to support their families abroad,” he said.
Officials at the Indian embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not