Fishing industry traffickers get long jail terms

Sen David / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

Three men have been sentenced to between eight and nine years in prison for trafficking Cambodian workers into the Thai fishing industry.
 
Anti-trafficking police said the case came to light after the government repatriated approximately 230 Cambodian men in June 2015, many of whom were severely exploited on Thai fishing vessels.
 
Abuse in the Thai fishing industry has been widely reported, with some victims spending months or years at sea with little or no pay, and subjected to extreme violence.
 
Nath Sambath and Nget Phalla were sentenced to nine years each by Siem Reap Provincial Court, while Moeut Kia received eight years imprisonment.
 
The six victims in the case were also awarded between 2 million and 20,000 million riel in compensation ($500-$5,000).
 
Police tracked down the suspects after uncovering a common thread in witness evidence.
 
All the victims were recruited through a network operated by the men. They were promised paid work but instead trafficked into slavery and sold to the captains of Thai ships.
 
The workers were then held on vessels for several years and forced to work under horrendous conditions.
 
The traffickers were able to operate their illicit business for more than seven years.  
 
Duong Thavry, chief of the human trafficking bureau in Siem Reap province, thanked the prosecutors and judges for delivering justice for the victims.
 
“This conviction is a warning message to traffickers that Cambodia has laws and a public justice system to prosecute them if they commit the crime of human trafficking,” she said.
 
Petter Milliams, director of International Justice Mission Cambodia, praised the efforts of human trafficking police and court officials, as well as the bravery of the men who testified in the trial.
 
He said the convictions would deter all those who sought to profit from human trafficking.
 
“These three traffickers were responsible for causing great pain and suffering for many young Cambodians,” he said.

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