Thirty-six Cambodian refugees convicted of committing crimes in the United States were deported to Phnom Penh this morning.
Upon arrival at the Phnom Penh International Airport early this morning, all the 36 returnees were whisked away by the van and escorted by police and NGO officials to the office of Khmer Vulnerability Aid Organization.
Tan Sonec, executive director of KVAO, said that all the returnees are men.
“There are 36 people in total and they are all men,” Mr Sonec said.
Kevin Lo, with the Asian Law Caucus, said that 36 out of 46 returnees were deported to Cambodia.
“Only 36 out of the 46 on the passenger manifest arrived,” he said.
Prok May Odum, the spokesman for General Identification Department, confirmed that Cambodian deportees arrived in Phnom Penh this morning.
More than 100 Cambodian refugees convicted of crimes in the United States faced deportation this year, according to a report issued last week by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The report said 110 Cambodians living in the US faced deportation during the 2018 fiscal year, up from 29 during the 2017 fiscal year.
Between 1975 and 2000, the US accepted 145,000 Cambodian refugees as part of an influx of Cambodians displaced by war.
The US has since begun deporting many of them convicted of crimes under a deal signed between both governments.