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2 Sep 2022

RFA Vietnamese

Cambodia: 26 Vietnamese victims of human trafficking in online scams are rescued and repatriated to Vietnam after a video showing workers running out of a workplace goes viral

"Cambodia returns 26 Vietnamese workers as embassy warns of job scams", 2 September 2022

Cambodia has repatriated 26 Vietnamese citizens including 11 who were working at the Rich World casino in Kandal province, which was accused of luring foreign workers into forced labor involving online scams.

The 26 were handed over to Vietnamese authorities at the Tinh Bien International Border Gate between Vietnam’s An Giang province and Cambodia’s Takeo province.

They came from Vietnam’s northern and central provinces, the Central Highlands and the southwest region, according to Lt. Col. Tran Hoa Hiep, head of the Border Guard Station

Border guards handed the 26 over to An Giang Provincial Police’s Immigration Department for further investigation.

State media said the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh helped secure the return of the 26 citizens.

The embassy said that more than 600 Vietnamese had been tricked into going to Cambodia on the promise of "light work and a high salary." In reality they were sold into forced labor and exploited, leading many to seek outside help or try to escape…

The video, posted on Vietnamese news site VnExpress …, showed men and women jumping into a river bordering the two countries, chased by guards swinging metal rods. A 16-year-old from Vietnam’s Gia Lai province was found dead in the river the online site reported…

Two of the workers who escaped told VnExpress they were tricked into working at the casino. One woman said employees had to create fake social media profiles and persuade people to pay to join a bogus dating site or face beatings.