Four Nigerians Arrested, Grilled Over Trafficking of Countrymen

Four Nigerian men have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and possession of fake documents after immigration police raided two Phnom Penh neighborhoods, officials said.

A dozen Nigerians were nabbed in the raids conducted in Pur Senchey and Sen Sok districts, but eight were not involved in trafficking and would not face charges, said Uk Heisela, chief of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department. However, the eight had expired visas and would be deported, he added.

The four arrested men had acted as recruitment agents and persuaded Nigerians to come to Cambodia based on false promises of high-paying jobs, with some alleged victims paying up to $25,000, he said.

“They cheated by promising to give a job when they arrived, [but] they were left alone and had no jobs to do,” he said. The four suspects had admitted to the crimes, he said.

Last month, Koledoye Abayomi Olushola, president of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization in Cambodia, said Nigerians were being duped into paying vast sums to gain Cambodian visas on promises that they would find high-paying jobs and a “better life,” only to realize they had been given short-term tourist visas upon arrival.

He said that since around October, an influx of Nigerians had been left penniless and stranded after spending all of their savings on the scam.

During the recent raids, police confiscated 42 passports, including seven fakes, he said.

Major General Heisela said more Nigerians were involved, and police were still looking for them.

sony@cambodiadaily.com

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