Vietnamese authorities deported ten Cambodians through the Bavet International Border Gate in Svay Rieng province yesterday after they were rounded up in Ho Chi Minh City for selling lottery tickets.
Two women aged 30 and 41, and eight children, aged between five and 15, were sent in a van to be received at the immigration department at the border.
Cambodian and Vietnamese officials took them to the Bavet city police office for advice afterwards.
Pen Sovanny, deputy director of the Svay Rieng provincial department of social affairs, said the people had gone to Vietnam to sell lottery tickets, adding that the number of people doing this had gone down in recent years.
“Ten of them were deported today,” he said. “Years ago, the number was up to 100 and we had to work for a long time to process them,” he said.
Mr Sovanny said the deportees had gone to work abroad because they had nothing to do in Svay Rieng province. Some had followed older relatives who had done the same thing before.
Nine of the deportees are from Kampong Ro district’s Tnaot commune and the other one is from Chantrea district’s Chantrea commune.
Some of the children claimed their parents were still in Vietnam and they were arrested while away from their parents.
Ya Saing, 30, who went with her two children to sell lottery tickets, said she was detained after she went looking for her five-year-old daughter who was arrested first.
“This is my second time in Vietnam and this time I stayed for 14 days until I was arrested several days ago and was brought in for detention,” she said. “My daughter was rounded up first because they thought she was begging. I looked for her and they arrested me too.”
A 15-year-old boy said he was arrested and brought back but his parents were still working in Vietnam.
“I went there to sell lottery tickets. I can make about 200,000 dong ($9) to 300,000 dong ($13.50) per day,” he said.
Koung Sophea, director of the Cambodia Centre for the Protection of Children’s Rights based in Svay Rieng province, said his organisation was helping to cut down the number of people begging and selling lottery tickets in Vietnam.
“We will bring them to their homes and help them to learn how to raise fish or pigs to prevent them from going to Vietnam to beg and sell lottery tickets,” he said.