Cambodia has completed procedures for 25 Vietnamese citizens, who’d been tricked to become workers in the country, to return to Vietnam, the foreign ministry said Thursday.
Among the 25, 11 were tricked into working for the Golden Phoenix Entertainment casino in Cambodia’s Kandal Province, including one person who was recaptured while trying to escape last week, foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meet.
Vietnamese authorities are verifying information and taking citizen protection measures for the 25 to be repatriated, she said.
“All the citizens are in stable health and have tested negative for narcotics,” she added.
The ministry has requested Cambodia to investigate the issue and step up monitoring of facilities, especially entertainment venues, to detect and prevent the exploitation of foreign workers, including Vietnamese, Hang said.
On August 18, border guards in Vietnam’s An Giang Province that borders China detained 40 people who illegally entered Vietnam after swimming across the Binh Di River to escape from the Phoenix casino in Cambodia.
One of two other people who had also attempted to escape – a teenage boy – drowned in the river, while another was captured by the casino people.
The Vietnamese said they were held at the casino against their will and subjected to torture.
Authorities have so far rescued over 500 Vietnamese citizens and supported thousands of others in Cambodia with procedures to return.
In the first half of this year, the Ministry of Public Security has busted several rings smuggling people to Cambodia for illegal work.
General Keo Vannthan, Cambodian Immigration Department spokesman, told local media Monday that he had led a team to the casino and detained a Chinese manager for questioning. The manager has admitted to using “forced labor” practices, he said.
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