Six Beggars, Children Returned From Malaysia

Three women and three children who crossed illegally into Malaysia to beg on the streets are being returned to Cambodia, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Among those being repatriated was a child, a 2-month-old who was born in Malaysia at the end of last year, Chum Sounry, a ministry spokesman, said on Tuesday.

The women, aged 29 to 48, and the three older children, aged 1 to 5, had entered Malaysia illegally via the Thai border in August, the statement said.

Mr. Sounry said he was unsure if the beggars had entered on their own or had been taken into the country by a trafficker, but that the group was “doing fine.”

After being found begging in December, they were sent to a family shelter in Malaysia’s Negeri Sembilan state, where Cambodian Embassy officials met with them, the statement said.

The required immigration paperwork took two months to complete, Mr. Sounry said.

The group was due to arrive in Phnom Penh on Tuesday after the Embassy paid for their airfare.

It was unclear what would become of the group after their arrival.

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