Immigration police yesterday raided a home being rented by 57 Vietnamese nationals in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district and arrested 11 who were unable to produce passports, an official said.
The 11 – including one woman and one child – were taken into custody to determine their status, said the immigration department chief, Uk Hai Sela. If they are found to have been in Cambodia illegally, they would be deported, he said.
The other 46, all men, did have Vietnamese passports with valid business visas, but they were fined $125 for lacking work permits, Hai Sela said. “They were found in a house they had been renting, where they were all living together,” he said.
The raid comes on the heels of at least three roundups of Vietnamese nationals and fishermen in the past two weeks. Hai Sela, however, denied that there were any coordinated government efforts to target them specifically.
Vu Le Ha, in charge of consular affairs at the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, said he could not confirm if there was a coordinated effort to crackdown on Vietnamese nationals.
Immigration department director Sok Phal said he was planning a press conference next week to address the issue, and declined further comment.
Additional reporting by Bun Sengkong