A total of 89 Vietnamese nationals have been rescued and repatriated from Cambodia after being tricked into taking ‘high-paying easy jobs’ by human trafficking rings, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
Among the individuals rescued, 63 entered Vietnam on August 29 through Ha Tien Border Guard Station in Vietnam’s southwestern Kien Giang Province thanks to the cooperation between the Vietnamese Consulate General in Sihanoukville and relevant Cambodian authorities, the ministry reported.
Three days later, in its latest effort to rescue victims of human trafficking from Cambodia, the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh repatriated an additional 26 Vietnamese citizens through Tinh Bien Border Gate in Vietnam's An Giang Province, the ministry said.
These individuals included 11 Vietnamese rescued from the Kandal province-based Rich World Casino, where 42 Vietnamese nationals fled and tried to swim across the Binh Di River into An Giang on August 18.
Among these runaways, 40 reached Vietnam, one died during the river crossing, and the remainder was recaptured by the casino guards, though he was later rescued and repatriated.
Thus, a total of 89 Vietnamese have been rescued and brought home from Cambodia over the past week.
“Vietnamese representative agencies in Cambodia are urgently verifying the identities of other Vietnamese citizens who have been rescued by Cambodian authorities but have no personal identification papers in order to ensure these individuals are repatriated as soon as possible,” the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
By joining hands with Cambodian authorities, the agency has repatriated more than 600 citizens so far this year who were tricked by human traffickers into working in Cambodia in miserable conditions.
Thousands of Vietnamese people may have been smuggled to Cambodia in such scams, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Khong Ngoc Oanh from the Ministry of Public Security’s Criminal Police Department told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
The rescued Vietnamese nationals had all participated in illegal work or become victims of forced labor or labor exploitation, Oanh said, adding that it is very difficult for authorities to verify cases and protect and rescue such victims.
The foreign ministry said it and other Vietnamese representative agencies in Cambodia will continue their efforts to identify, rescue, and repatriate Vietnamese workers who have been duped into going to Cambodia to work as illegal or forced workers.
People cheated and sent to Cambodia in such job scams come from many different countries, according to the ministry.
Cambodian authorities have launched several inspections and raids on establishments employing foreign workers to rescue victims of human trafficking, while relevant countries have been trying to crack down on activities that lure and send people to Cambodia by unlawful border crossing, the ministry said.
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