Authorities in Svay Rieng province have staved off the attempted trafficking of six teenage girls who were being brought to Vietnam to work as beggars, police and a local NGO said.
Middlemen tried to illegally bring the girls, who were all 15 or 16 years old, one-by-one across the border in Chreh commune, Chantrea district, said Ung Sam Ol, chief of the provincial Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit.
Ung Sam Ol said his officers cooperated with a local NGO called Coalition for Sangkros Po-thochon (saving the vulnerable), to rescue the underage girls before they crossed the border into Vietnam.
“The ringleaders persuaded the poor parents to let their kids beg in Vietnam,” said Ken Bun Chann, a legal facilitator for CSP.
“They understand that begging in Vietnam would earn them a lot of money,” he said.
Ken Bun Chann said that the six girls, who were rescued at different times during the week of Nov 5 to Nov 11, are now residing at a shelter run by another NGO in the province.
Ringleaders of the begging rings take all the earnings from the children when they are brought to Vietnam, Ken Bun Chann said.
He added that trafficked youngsters often face physical abuse.
“This is a case of big networking,” he said.
CSP has agents working in three communes in Chantrea to prevent human trafficking.
Soath Nordy, Svay Rieng’s provincial police chief, said that the parents of the teenagers had been cheated in to sending their daughters to beg in Vietnam.
“They were cheated so they could earn a lot of money,” he said.
“But they earned little.”
Trum Bopha, a project manager of CSP, said that the six girls would likely have been conveyed to cities in Vietnam, especially Ho Chi Minh City, if they hadn’t been rescued.
Trum Bopha said that she is filing a complaint with the police to arrest all the ringleaders in Chantrea district.