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20 Apr 2023

Sorn Sarath & Jack Brook, CamboJA

Cambodia: Preah Sihanouk Provincial authorities dismiss BBC's documentary detailing scam operations & human trafficking

"Preah Sihanouk Authorities Claim BBC’s Report on Scams, Human Trafficking is “Baseless”", 20 April 2023

A BBC documentary’s detailed evidence of scam operations and human trafficking at a Sihanoukville compound are “baseless,” Preah Sihanouk provincial administration claimed in a … statement.

Authorities would “completely dismiss” the report’s allegations of torture, forced captivity and criminal activity, the statement added.

The BBC documentary, published …, followed the escape of a Chinese man from inside the Huang Le compound and also showed footage of a man who said he was held against his will there, later dying when he became sick and was denied medical treatment…

Provincial authorities, …, claimed the BBC’s reporting was “baseless” and “by no means, reflected the reality of the current situation.” They claimed they had “paid serious attention” to the BBC’s report and worked with National Police to “properly investigate and verify this information.”

Authorities confirmed in their statement that the Huang Le compound shown in the video is registered as the Majestic 2 Casino owned by a man named Kuong Li and had received its most recent operation license ...

Preah Sihanouk deputy governor Long Dimanche did not deny the validity of the footage and reporting in the video, but said some of the scenes had allegedly happened before authorities cracked down on the compound…

Li, …, denied the documentary’s allegations. He acknowledged owning the property but claimed was renting it to a Chinese investor whom he did not name…

Didi, the Chinese national who recounted his escape from the compound to BBC, had explained he was illegally trafficked into Cambodia…