Police in Pailin province yesterday arrested two suspects accused of brokering illegal passage for migrant workers into Thailand.
Ry Dara, deputy police chief of Sala Krov district, said that the suspects were arrested after a police investigation identified the pair as common brokers in the district.
The arrests follow work between Cambodia and Thailand to legitimise nearly 300,000 illegal workers currently in Thailand, most of whom crossed into the country without proper documentation with the help of brokers.
“They were arrested because we have evidence that shows they have often taken money from workers to sneak them across the border,” said Mr Dara.
Mr Dara added that the suspects usually charged each worker about $60 to get them into Thailand for possible work.
Mr Dara identified the suspects as Kim Van, 35, a Cambodian from Battambang province, and Jak Kim, 46, a Thai national from Chan Borie province.
An Sam An, a Sala Krov district chief, said that authorities often reminded migrant workers not to trust such brokers and use proper channels to find work across the border.
“When they go to find jobs in Thailand via the brokers, it is illegal and they will face many risks in Thailand,” he said.
So Phern, a villager in Sala Kro district’s Stung Kach commune, said that some of the villagers who wished to find jobs in Thailand used brokers because it was easier than going through proper channels.
“There are some brokers here,” she said. “They come and persuade the villagers that if we come to find jobs in Thailand through them, it is easier.”