Four More Arrested Crossing Into Laos

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A traffic police officer in Phnom Penh on September 15, 2020. (VOD)
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Four Chinese nationals were stopped from crossing from Preah Vihear into Laos this week, another cross-border case in the same location where 16 Chinese nationals were recently rescued from being trafficked across the border.

Some Cambodian scam operations appear to be moving foreign workers out of the country amid police raids. Last week, two Cambodians were arrested over the alleged trafficking of 16 Chinese nationals into Laos in Preah Vihear’s Chheb district.

Those two Cambodians, Chea Ratana, 27, and a man identified only as Borey, were now charged with human trafficking, said distrist police chief Chhuo Mady and Preah Vihear prosecutor Vuth Savy on Tuesday.

In a separate case on Sunday morning, four Chinese nationals were stopped from being taken to the border by a Cambodian driver, said deputy provincial police chief Tan Kimleng.

The four Chinese men had been arrested and handed over to immigration authorities. They had said they wanted to return to China via Laos, according to Kimleng.

“They wanted to go back home and they searched the internet and found some men. … Mostly they are from Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces,” he said of the recent cases.

The latest driver was not involved in trafficking, he said.

“He does not know anything, and he just followed someone’s order through the phone and he picked them up from another.”

District police chief Mady added that soldiers had stopped the vehicle as they approached the Mekong river for a crossing by boat into Laos.

Meanwhile, in a separate case in Pursat, three people arrested for robbery of a co-worker at a scam compound have been charged and placed in pretrial detention, said Pursat provincial prosecution spokesman Heng Donin.

A fourth suspect was still at large, he said.

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