Vietnam Repatriates 32 Beggars, Street Sellers

Thirty-two Cambodian beggars and streetside lottery ticket sellers who were picked up in Ho Chi Minh City in September, including 24 children, were repatriated on Friday after spending several weeks in detention in Vietnam, an official said.

“They think begging is an easier way to get money than working,” said Pen Sovanny, a deputy director at Svay Rieng province’s social affairs department.

“They had been in Ho Chi Minh City for a few months…. They were staying together,” Mr. Sovanny added.

It took more than a month to complete the paperwork because the detainees did not have any documents, he said, adding that the eight women and 24 children were returned to Cambodia on Friday morning through the Bavet International Checkpoint.

A statement released Friday by the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the Cambodian Embassy in Vietnam had repatriated 174 Cambodian beggars and lottery ticket sellers from January through October.

“Cambodian people just keep going to Vietnam to be beggars or lottery sellers,” Mr. Sovanny said.

“We are trying to strengthen education and show them the occupations available in Cambodia.”

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