Woman Detained at Recruitment Firm; No Arrests Made, Police Say

Police stepped in on Sunday to secure the release of a woman who claims she was held in a Phnom Penh recruitment firm training center against her will, though no arrests were made, police said yesterday.

Kin Ya, 27, was training at a center run by recruitment firm APMN in the capital’s Chamkar Mon district when she decided to quit, according to deputy district police chief Hean Thareth. The woman’s husband Prom Nai filed a complaint that the company would not allow his wife to leave the center unless she paid $975 for her training, Mr Thareth added.

The woman left the center after police helped negotiate a settlement wherein she paid the company $300, Mr Thareth said.

He declined to comment on why no arrests were made over the woman’s detention, saying only that police considered the case closed.

Company representatives could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak said yesterday that investigating recruitment firms was the Labor ministry’s responsibility.

Officials at the Labor Ministry either declined to comment or could not be reached yesterday.

In a separate incident, a local rights group called for Phnom Penh firm VC Manpower Co Ltd to face investigation after one of their trainees, Yon Mab, died last month in what the girl’s family consider suspicious circumstances.

The girl’s father Ream Ry said on Sunday that company representatives gave him conflicting reports on his daughter’s sudden death, adding that his daughter’s face and neck were swollen and bruised.

Mr Ry said he did not know how to file an official complaint, and did not know where to turn for help.

Eng Ly Da, a trainer at the company’s center in Sen Sok district, said that Ms Mab died of leukemia in hospital. Sen Sok deputy district police chief Sok Bunlai said police were never notified of Ms Mab’s death.

“The government must take immediate action…to find the reason behind the victim’s death,” said Moeun Tola, head of the labor project at the Community Legal Education Center.

Last week the Labor Ministry announced plans for a new sub-decree on the regulation of recruitment firms, and published sections of the new law in khmer-language newspapers on Thursday.

            (Additional reporting by Ian Williamson)


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