Cambodia returns 92 Vietnamese tricked into working in scamming jobs

Vietnam has also caught two brokers who were allegedly tricking people into taking similar jobs.
By RFA Vietnamese
2022.09.22
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Cambodia returns 92 Vietnamese tricked into working in scamming jobs Vietnamese workers being processed at the Moc Bai border gate for re-entry.
Bien Phong

A total of 92 Vietnamese citizens who were tricked into going to Cambodia to work under the promise of “light work with high wages” have been sent back home in the latest of cross-border trafficking cases in Southeast Asia.

Reports have emerged from Cambodia in recent months about migrants from neighboring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam being held against their will by criminal gangs and being forced to work. Large numbers of citizens of Taiwan have also fallen victim to scams that offer high-paying jobs at resorts in Cambodia but then sell the recruits to trafficking rings.

They were received by the Tay Ninh Province Border Guard Command at Vietnam’s Moc Bai Border Gate on Wednesday.

State-controlled media reported that 56 of them escaped from Casino Lucky 88 in Bavet City, Svay Rieng province on Sept. 17. The remaining people were said to have been discovered by the Cambodian Police who forced the owner of the establishment to hand them over to the local authorities.

At 14.30 p.m. on Sept. 17, 60 Vietnamese nationals fled the casino  in Bavet Kandal hamlet, and headed towards the Bavet border gate. Four people were caught by the casino’s guards and taken back.

A video spread on social media networks the same day showed the Vietnamese workers fleeing in the rain and heading for the border gate which is opposite Vietnam’s Moc Bai border gate in Tay Ninh province.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia, asked local authorities to investigate and verify the case. The Vietnamese side also requested the Cambodian side to intervene and rescue the remaining Vietnamese citizens at the casino. At the end of the afternoon, Cambodian Police asked it to hand over 11 more Vietnamese nationals.

Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that since the beginning of the year about 600 Vietnamese citizens went to Cambodia to work on the promise of "light work, high salary." They were then forced to work on online scams, mistreated, beaten or asked to call their relatives to receive ransom money in order to return home.

The 92 received by the Border Guards of Tay Ninh province are currently having their identities verified by the authorities so they can return them to their registered residences in Vietnam.

In a related development on Wednesday the Investigation Department of Dong Nai Province police said they had detained two people named Vuong Chi Thanh and Trinh Phu Quoc, living in Phu Loi commune, Dinh Quan for acting as brokers, sending Vietnamese to Cambodia to work illegally.

Binh Dinh Provincial Police are also verifying a request to help from a family in Tuy Phuoc district about their son being tricked into working in Cambodia. He had reportedly informed his family that they must pay a ransom of VND 120 million (U.S.$ 5,000) to be returned home.

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