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Charges laid after migrant work ‘scam’

Charges laid after migrant work ‘scam’

A recruiter was charged yesterday with duping 24 migrant worker hopefuls out of more than $40,000 in exchange for jobs in South Korea that she allegedly had no means of delivering.

The workers went to Em Sam Ouen’s Cambodian Organisation for Veteran Economic Development in Phnom Penh last year after hearing a radio advertisement, according to prosecuting attorney Than Thavorak.

“Many victims have applied for work from her organisation because she lied that her organisation has obtained the licence for labourer recruitment from the Ministry of Labour,” he said. “To attract more people . . . she also said that she was a relative of a high-ranking Ministry of Labour official.”

According to the allegations, more than 50 workers paid between $300 and $500 for promised employment in South Korea. But as of a 2007 agreement, Cambodian workers can only secure employment in South Korea via a government-run quota system.

Sam Oeun did not find jobs for any workers her company recruited, nor did she return the money, according to the hearing at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. She was charged with “fraud and creating confusion that interfered with the duties of public officials”, said judge Kim Rath Narim.

He added that she was arrested by the Ministry of Interior’s penal police on January 10 based on the complaints of the labourers.

A verdict is scheduled for November 3.

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