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Chinese lost at sea reported to have been trafficked


The Chinese nationals lost at sea off the coast of Cambodia are believed to have been illegally trafficked.

A Cambodian government official today reported that 23 Chinese nationals are missing after the boat overturned carrying 41 alleged illegal immigrants.

Government official Kheang Phearom announced that the boat carrying 41 Chinese people got into trouble near Sihanoukville yesterday and only 18 had been saved.

Phearom added that those rescued were helping the police with their enquiries while maintaining that the search continues for the missing persons.

Sihanoukville Provincial police chief Chuon Narin reported that one of the group’s survivors revealed that they left China in a speedboat from a port in Guangdong on Sunday, September 11.

The group was later transferred to a vessel manned by a Cambodian crew of two and the boat began to sink after the engine broke down yesterday.

Narin made known that a fishing boat arrived to pick up the Cambodian crew and left them cut adrift at sea.

Phearom added that the two Cambodians were helping police with their enquiries.

Sihanoukville was a sleepy fishing village once upon a time but it has been drastically transformed over the past ten years or so into a gambling hub with a number of casinos largely on the back of Chinese investment.

The investment provided a boost to the economy but on the back of it, there are increasing reports of Chinese workers being illegally trafficked to the city.

The Cambodian authorities have been trying to crack down on illegal trafficking gangs who trick people into migrating for job opportunities billed as lucrative. They have had some success.

Earlier this month immigration officials raided a compound in Sihanoukville that held about 140 illegal immigrants and 130 of them were Chinese.

Police found evidence of torture, prostitution, and human trafficking from the handcuffs, electric batons, and electric shock equipment they seized.

SOURCE: Channel News Asia

 





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