Recruitment Firm Manager in Jail, Court Says

The head of the Phnom Penh recruiting firm VC Manpower has been arrested by order of Phnom Penh Municipal Court, a court official said yesterday.

Judge Oeung Seang said by telephone that Sen Ly, VC Manpower’s general manager, had been placed in provisional detention.

“The case is in the investigating period. We have put him in jail,” he said, before declining to comment further.

While Judge Seang did not say specify the charges against Mr Ly, deputy prosecutor Ek Chheng Huot said yesterday that the court had issued a warrant to arrest an unidentified suspect on suspicion of illegal detention.

Under anti-human trafficking statutes, the charge carries a maximum penalty of five years if the detention is under a month, or ten years if longer.

Moeun Tola, head of the labor project at the Community Legal Education Center, said his organization had received many complaints about the company.

“VC Manpower is the one we receive a lot of issues about,” he said.

CLEC is currently investigating reports that at least 16 former employees have fled VC Manpower training centers in Phnom Penh over the last week, according to Hoy Pich Sovann of CLEC’s labor project.

Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor at the human group Licadho, said his organization had also been looking into the company.

“The employees reported to us that they don’t have enough food to eat, the rooms they live in are narrow and there are underage girls living there.

“The company prevented them from going outside its building. All these things are illegal,” he said.


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