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Cambodia arrests Chinese manager at casino for forced labor on Vietnamese

Cambodia arrests Chinese manager at casino for forced labor on Vietnamese

Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 13:59 GMT+7
Cambodia arrests Chinese manager at casino for forced labor on Vietnamese
Cambodian immigration officers speak with representatives from Golden Phoenix Entertainment Casino in Chrey Thom Commune, Koh Thom District, Kandal Province, Cambodia. Photo: Khmer Times

Functional forces in Cambodia arrested the Chinese manager at a casino in Cambodia from which 42 Vietnamese escaped last week and revealed 'forced labor' practices, Khmer Times reported on Monday.

General Keo Vannthan, Immigration Department spokesman, told Cambodian media on Monday that he led a team to the Golden Phoenix Entertainment Casino in Chrey Thom Commune, Koh Thom District, Kandal Province and detained the manager for questioning, according to Khmer Times.

The inspection resulted in the arrest of the casino manager, a Chinese national whose identity has yet to be revealed.

It was made following the escape of 42 Vietnamese workers from the casino last week.

They swam across the Binh Di River, the natural borderline between Vietnam and Cambodia, toward the southern Vietnamese province of An Giang due to their imprisonment and torture.

A total 40 succeeded, but one of them, a 16-year-old boy, was swept away by the water and another was recaptured by casino guards. 

Of the 40, five are women and the rest are men.

The successful escapees said they went to Cambodia and worked at several casinos in online gaming, but they were overworked and not given pay or rest.

Because of the labor abuse, they decided to illegally cross the border back into Vietnam.

General Vannthan said the Chinese manager admitted to “forcing the group to work against their will” but claimed that the escapees owed the company money.

He added that Cambodian authorities questioned 11 other Vietnamese who also work at the casino but failed to run away.

They said the company promised to pay them US$800, but the manager paid the workers only $400 or $500 a month, sparking a dispute that prompted the escape.

Kandal Governor Kong Sophoan said on Monday that the Cambodian National Police are probing the extent of the 'crime' before deciding the next step, according to Khmer Times.

Sophoan urged Vietnamese and Cambodian police officers to work together to tackle the issue to create a safe working environment for investors.

Separately, Vietnamese news site VnExpress reported that Dinh Van Noi, director of the An Giang Department of Public Security, proposed the Ministry of Public Security establish a national mission to investigate potential human trafficking rings involved in the case on Saturday last week.

Human trafficking in the form of job scams is not new to Cambodia, Khmer Times reported.

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Bao Anh - Hong Van / Tuoi Tre News

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