S’ville Police Say 36 Thais Casino Workers Were Not Held Against Will

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A police officer directs traffic in Sihanoukville on January 21, 2021. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Four suspected traffickers have been arrested and sent to court after Preah Sihanouk police found 36 Thai nationals illegally working at a casino, officials said, while denying that the workers had been confined against their will.

Provincial police chief Chuon Narin said in a statement that a police operation on September 4 found 36 Thai nationals, including 10 women, at the Golden World 3 casino who had illegally crossed into the country. Online searches show listings for the Golden Wealth 3 but no obvious references to a Golden World 3 in Sihanoukville.

Narin added that four further individuals — three Chinese and one Thai — were arrested and sent to court for suspected trafficking.

The case “is not about the confinement of people,” Narin said, an apparent reference to a report in the Cambodia China Times on Thursday that said the workers had produced a video to send to Thailand seeking help over being detained and forced into sex work.

Five of the workers tested positive for Covid-19, and the remainder placed in quarantine, he added.

Huot Vichet, deputy prosecutor and spokesman for the Sihanoukville Provincial Court, said on Friday that the four suspects had been detained since September 4 and the case was still before investigating judges.

Chou Bun Eng, permanent vice chair of the National Committee to Counter Trafficking, said she was unaware of the incident.

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