Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreigners rounded up

Foreigners rounded up

Authorities gather Vietnamese migrant workers yesterday at a construction site in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district after they were caught working illegally.
Authorities gather Vietnamese migrant workers yesterday at a construction site in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district after they were caught working illegally. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Foreigners rounded up

Continuing efforts by the Department of Immigration yesterday resulted in the detention of 50 Vietnamese construction workers and a warning of future fines issued to their employer.

Uk Hai Seila, investigation chief for the Department of Immigration, said that following a warning letter, authorities will resort to legal measures including fines for companies large or small found to be employing illegal immigrants.

“Currently, we are in a grace period, after finding a violation we file a warning letter, but if [illegal workers] are discovered a second time then the company’s owner will be fined and face charges in court,” he said.

According to Seyla, at about 6am yesterday, 51 Vietnamese construction workers, 15 female and 36 male, were checked for documents and arrested while they were working at the “Borie Angkor Phnom Penh” construction site located in Sen Sok district.

Ny Chakrya of rights group Adhoc is welcomed efforts to find illegal immigrants, including the creation of new immigration units by the national police reported earlier this month.

However, he said, the focus should be on border checkpoints rather than businesses.

“Most business owners do not know because they have no right to check or interrogate workers about their legal status.

To solve this problem, aside from tighter border enforcement, Cambodia should charge [Vietnamese] for a visa, because in a visa the length of stay and reason for entry is clearly indicated”, he said.

Since the start of 2015, some 1,500 Vietnamese illegal immigrants have been deported back to Vietnam.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,