Twenty Cambodian fishermen who were allegedly tricked into illegally working on a Thai fishing boat in Indonesia were repatriated yesterday afternoon. The men, aged 19 to 34, were saved after they docked at an Indonesian harbour and managed to escape their bosses to seek help.
Khan, one of the men who arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport at about 4pm yesterday, said the group had been stuck in the middle of the ocean for more than a year without pay.
“We were treated damn badly and worked without enough sleep,” he said.
Before sending the 20 workers back home, the Cambodian Embassy worked with Thai officials to ensure that they received payment for their work, and asked the International Organization for Migration to provide each of them with $1,000 to ease the reintegration process, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong.
The IOM also “monitored and checked their health before they came back home”, he said.