Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trafficked fishermen ‘safe, headed home’

Trafficked fishermen ‘safe, headed home’

Trafficked fishermen ‘safe, headed home’

Fifteen Cambodian men who were rescued from two affiliated Thai fishing boats by authorities there in January were victims of human trafficking, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The fishermen, from Kampong Speu, Svay Rieng, Kampot, Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham provinces, had been working on the boats for three months before being discovered on January 21 off the coast of Thailand’s Ranong province.

The men are reportedly staying at a centre for trafficking victims in Ranong until they can testify against the alleged trafficking company on March 24.

“We contacted their families already . . . Now they are safe and waiting to come home,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong.

The employer accused of trafficking had agreed to give each fisherman 25,000 baht ($714) in wages, according to the ministry.

Separately, 25 workers in Kampong Chhnang have asked rights group Adhoc to help them obtain wages from a notorious recruitment firm that trafficked them to work on a fishing boat from 2009 through 2011.

In April 2014, the Taiwanese owner of Giant Ocean International, now defunct, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for trafficking hundreds of Cambodian fishermen to work in slave-like conditions overseas.

The 25 workers, from Rolea Ba’ier commune, submitted a complaint two years ago demanding back wages, but say they have yet to see any compensation.

“They promised to give us $150 to $200 per month and ordered us to work many hours, and some of us got abused,” said Seng Kimrin, one of the workers. “Until now, we still didn’t get any wages.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a