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Unlicensed recruitment company shut down

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Workers from Elite Manpower and Ung Rithy Group arrive at the Phnom Penh airport last December to travel to Hong Kong for work as maids. Hong Menea

Unlicensed recruitment company shut down

The Ministry of Labour has shut down an unlicensed recruitment agency that allegedly lied about receiving a licence to send workers to Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan.

In an announcement last Thursday, the ministry said CJ Labour Supply Co, Ltd had "lied and cheated the public" in announcing that they received a migrant worker recruiting licence from the ministry.

Few details were available about the agency, which was not included in the ministry's most recent list of 93 approved recruiting agencies or in the Ministry of Commerce's business registration database.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour did not respond to messages about the agency on Thursday.

Photos of a tax certificate allegedly used by CJ Labour Supply that surfaced on social media last week identified the owner as a man named Sun Seyha, but when contacted Thursday, Seyha denied knowledge of the company.

"I don’t own this company," he said in a message. "It’s my name and picture, but wrong company. If you want to get the confirmation, please go to the police station with me and ask them."

Labour rights advocates have previously criticised the government's track record on enforcing the law against unscrupulous recruitment agencies.

Moeun Tola, the executive director of Central, said it was hard for him to say whether the move was a positive one.

"They always just remove one small fish and leave the other big fish, violating the rights of workers and the law," Tola said.

Earlier this month, the ministry approved a licence for a new recruitment agency headed by a man who previously fled the country after the government found he was recruiting underage maids and detaining them illegally in jail-like training centres.

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