Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cop implicated in trafficking

Cop implicated in trafficking

Cop implicated in trafficking

Migrant worker Nouv Vuthy, 21, hugs his father, Chheung Heab, after returning to Cambodia from Malaysia in July.

Authorities are hunting a fugitive police officer implicated in a high-profile trafficking case involving seven Cambodian men who were forced to work in horr-ific conditions aboard Thai fishing boats.

The officer, who officials have asked the Post not to identify, holds a mid-ranking position. He was stationed near the Thai border and is thought to have helped traffic 15 people across the border.

His alleged victims include Nou Vuthy, one of seven men rescued in Malaysia earlier this year after escaping from slave labour on Thai fishing boats.

Chiv Phally, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department, said yesterday a warr-ant for the officer’s arrest had been issued on July 29, the day the seven trafficked fishermen had been repatriated to Cambodia.

“Right now, he is escaping from one province to another. I’m not sure where, exactly, but police are continuing to try to arrest him. After we questioned the victim, we knew he was among the brokers who cheated Cambodian workers to Thailand,” Chiv Phally said.

Nou Vuthy said yesterday  he believed the police off-icer was the main broker  in a network that trafficked him and other men across the Thai border, charging them 100,000 riel (US$25) each for supposedly lucrative jobs in Thailand.

“He is the main broker who allowed us to go through to Thailand and took money from us, but right now he has escaped,” he said.

Nou Vuthy said his neighbour in Kampot who origin-ally lured him into the deal had also fled.

Nou Vuthy was then traff-icked into slave labour aboard fishing boats, where he was subjected to frightening abuse including beatings, almost non-stop work and death threats before escaping with three other Cambodian victims to Malaysia.

That group of men, and another group of three who had endured similar horrors, were rescued during separate raids on plywood factories by Malaysian authorities in May and June this year.

Huy Pich Sovann, a program officer at the Community Legal Education Centre, said yesterday it was strange that the police officer had become aware he was being investigated, as the media had not revealed his identity.

“I don’t know how a police officer can run away. I don’t think he had information that he was being investigated for human trafficking, so how does he know that he has been linked to human trafficking?” he said.

If there was a warrant for the officer’s arrest, it was good news for the victims, Huy Pich Sovann said, adding that he would travel to relevant districts to investigate how the suspect got away.


  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman