A Thai court has sentenced ten Cambodian migrant workers to six years in prison for seeking employment in the country using fake passports and travel documents.
The migrants, all from Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces, were arrested in Thailand’s Surin province in possession of fake passports in April.
Chaeng Born, the brother of one of the suspects, said the Thai court halved the original 12-year sentences handed to the workers.
“My brother and his nine friends were cheated by a labour broker to go and work at a garment factory in Thailand,” Mr Born said.
He said the migrants paid about $75 to a broker promising to provide them with passports and legal documents for jobs in Thailand.
“But those documents were counterfeits and they were arrested immediately by Thai soldiers when they were having their papers checked at a Thai border office in Kap Choeng district,” Mr Born added.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said the ministry had not yet received any information on the convictions.
“We are in contact with our consulate office in Thailand’s Sakaeo province to keep an eye on the issue,” he said.
Thailand is a popular destination for Cambodians seeking employment, but much of this is illegal or semi-legal. The salaries are often higher than those in Cambodia, but many migrant workers run the risk of exploitation or find themselves being trafficked.