56 Illegal Chinese Immigrants Nabbed in S’Ville

Sihanoukville police arrested 56 alleged illegal Chinese immigrants on Thursday in a house belonging to a local customs officer, Yin Nunnath, the deputy Sih­a­nouk­ville police chief, said Sunday.

Police allege that the 33 men and 23 women, who are be­ing held at the house where they were discovered, crossed the Vi­et­namese-Cambodian border and made their way to the southern port town via Phnom Penh on tourist buses. They had been hiding out in the house for two days and were preparing to make their way to a third country when they were arrested, Yin Nunnath said.

“This is the first time that illegal Chinese citizens have been ar­rested in Sihanoukville,” he said.

No ringleaders have been ar­rested in connection with this case, Yin Nunnath said, adding that he was waiting for orders from the Ministry of the Interior on how to proceed with the case.

A local businessman who was renting the house where the Chinese were found will be investigated, he said.

Although hundreds of illegal immigrants have been arrested in recent months in Cambodia, no one has been charged yet with operating the human trafficking network.

Meanwhile, the case of 15 illegal Chinese immigrants arrested in Takeo province last month still has not been resolved, Takeo Governor Kep Chuktema said Sun­day. He said the 13 men and two women had been sent on to Phnom Penh, and he is still waiting to hear the outcome. He also said that he was investigating charges that border police were involved with the trafficking.

Cambodia is a major gateway for illegal Chinese nationals on their way to third and fourth coun­tries, in deals allegedly worth thousands of dollars.

 

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