Second Mission Finds 36 More Cambodian Fishermen

Indonesian authorities made a second trip on Friday to the island of Benjina, rescuing 36 more Cambodian fishermen on top of the 58 already found enslaved and working under brutal conditions on the remote island, according to a statement by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Officials from the Cambodian Embassy in Jakarta were already in Indonesia alongside diplomats from around the region to arrange the repatriation of some 330 men rescued from the island earlier this week. 

On Friday, the IOM joined authorities to search for more still trapped there, and left with 210 men.

“Our first task is to find these men, establish who they are, and then get them home,” Mark Getchell, chief of IOM Indonesia, said in the statement.

His deputy, Steve Hamilon, said he expected the number to continue growing.

“There are undoubtedly many more that we haven’t yet found,” he said in the statement. “This is one company, in one port, on one island, in one province. But we will stay here for as long as it takes.”

Cambodian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Friday night that he was not aware of the update from Indonesia.

henderson@cambodiadaily.com

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