The National Police’s anti-trafficking team has sent four Filipinos to the General Department of Immigration's deportation preparation centre for repatriation, said an April 29 press release from the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT).

The release detailed how the team had responded to two diplomatic notes from the Philippines embassy, requesting the rescue of Filipinos in connection with their detention, torture and extortion of money in Koh Kong province. The first request was for 30 individuals to be freed, and the second for 20.

“The Koh Kong provincial police conducted two searches. The first discovered 20 Filipinos, who were released as they met the legal requirements for working in the Kingdom,” it said.

The second search identified seven people with similar names to those on list provided by the embassy. The seven were interviewed by the investigating officers.

“According to the individuals in question, they entered Cambodia through the Phnom Penh International Airport last year to find work through an agency. They all said they have been working since they arrived, and have been provided with food, accommodation and regular salaries. None of them said they had been detained, tortured or forced to work illegally,” said the NCCT.

“The individuals were unaware of the embassy’s request for intervention, and it was noted that the names on the embassy list were based on social media accounts, rather than passports or national IDs,” it added.

After verifying the individual’s right to live and work in Cambodia, the authorities granted three Filipinos permission to resume their work. The remaining four opted to resign from their positions and will be returned home.