Military police arrested a couple on Tuesday in Battambang province on suspicion of tricking 18 people into forking over cash in the hopes of finding jobs in Thailand.
Anch Kamal, a deputy military police officer in Sampov Loan district, where the arrests occurred, said that the couple took $45 per person and promised a ride across the border and help in landing work.
He said that military police detained Nget Thol, 46, and his wife, Loan Sopheap, 44, for questioning after they stopped to have lunch at a roadside stand.
“We were suspicious when they got off the truck to have lunch,” he said.
“They said that they were a broker couple helping people to find jobs in Thailand.’’
He said the pair was from Pursat province and were attempting to use their truck to cross the border illegally with people, including two minors, in the back.
Sim Ron, a 33-year-old passenger, said he believed the brokers’ claims because he knew them and lived in the same village.
“We want to find jobs abroad because we thought that we’d get higher wages than farming in our home town. But police detained us when we gathered in a truck in order to illegally cross to Thailand,” he said.
Kamla said that provincial military police were preparing documents to send the couple to the court and that the victims were educated about the dangers of illegal cross-border migration.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at [email protected]