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Woman arrested over human trafficking

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
KT/Chor Sokunthea

Authorities arrested and sent a 45-year-old woman to Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for her alleged involvement in trafficking migrants to neighbouring countries over the course of three years.

The National Police published a report stating that Van Theary, 45, was arrested for disseminating employment information between 2014 and 2017 to people to work as labourers in Thailand and Malaysia.

According to the report, Ms Theary promised would-be recruits $400 to $500 per month to work overseas.

Ms Theary duped 96 people from Kampong Cham, Kratie, Kampong Thom, Stung Treng and Takeo provinces, the report added.

The report said that Ms Theary prepared passports for her victims and also forged some of their identities.

It added that she received $100 to $200 for each victim from a second broker. All 96 migrants were brought to Thailand and Malaysia.

Pol Phiethey, head of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-human Trafficking Department, said that the woman was brought in for questioning by authorities.

“We already sent her to the municipal court this morning,” he said, declining to comment further on the case and referring questions to the court.

Ly Sophanna, spokesman for the municipal court, could not be reached for comment.

Nearly 1,000 Cambodian migrant workers were repatriated last year, marking a significant increase on 2016 figures, according to a Foreign Affairs Ministry report published yesterday.

The report said that authorities repatriated 986 people from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, China and Japan.

Among the 986 Cambodians repatriated in 2017, 288 came from Thailand, 171 from Vietnam, 49 from Laos, three from Myanmar, 382 from Malaysia, 23 from Indonesia, five from Singapore, 53 from China and 12 from Japan.

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