A group of Cambodian fishermen who were found almost a month ago aboard a Malaysian-owned ship that was illegally fishing in Indonesian waters will be sent back to Cambodia once their paperwork is ready, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.
“We believe that they will return soon because in principle the Indonesian authorities have agreed with us already. Documents just need to be prepared to release them back,” said Chum Sounry, spokesman for the ministry.
A statement from the ministry said that the 10 were being held at the Tarempa Immigration Office on Riau Island in Indonesia.
Mr. Sounry said the boat’s Malaysian owners had agreed to cover the fishermen’s travel costs and to pay their outstanding salaries, although he did not know how much money the men were owed.
“It is very important because working on that ship was very risky for them and so it’s a very serious problem if they work in such situation but are not paid their salaries,” he said, adding that he did not know details about working conditions on board the ship.