Category Archives: Arrest, Detention and Deportation

Committee to receive Thailand deportees, Phnom Penh Post

Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities confirmed yesterday that they are creating a committee that will seek to help illegal Cambodian migrant workers expelled from Thailand land get back on their feet in Cambodia.

According to a letter dated last week and obtained yesterday, the committee will arrange basic services for the illegal migrant workers deported from the country by Thai authorities.

“The sub-committee will collect the statistics that Thai authorities send and prepare shelter for the workers and temporarily help them improve their living standards and take care of their health and sanitation,” read the letter. “Special attention will be paid to children, pregnant women and sick migrants.”

Provincial governor Kor Sum Saroeut said he recently received information from an organisation in Thailand that authorities will soon be sending illegal migrants back.

“We are creating the committee in advance because we had a bad experience in June last year, where we did not have good preparations and that caused our work to be not so good, ” he said, referring to the more than 220,000 Cambodian migrant workers accused of working illegally in Thailand who were sent back to Cambodia.

By: The Phnom Penh Post

Published on: 30 June 2015

Thirty-Six Vietnamese to Be Deported After Shop Raids, The Cambodia Daily

Immigration police arrested 36 illegal Vietnamese immigrants Thursday morning during coordinated raids of 18 furniture shops in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district, an immigration official said.

The raids were carried out as part of the government’s ongoing census of foreigners living in the country, said Uk Heisela, chief of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s general department of immigration, adding that all of the furniture shops were located in Phsar Doeum Thkov commune, where local residents had tipped off authorities to the presence of the Vietnamese laborers.

“We arrested 36 at 18 furniture shops,” he said. “Twenty-one of them had passports, but they [only] had tourist visas, which they cannot use to work in the country.”

Lt. Gen. Heisela said the 21 had been given a week to leave the country, while the remaining 15 would be deported next week. Since the start of the year—when the census was scheduled to finish—some 600 illegal immigrants have been deported by the Interior Ministry, about 500 of them Vietnamese, Lt. Gen. Heisela said.


Published on: 12 June 2015

Nine Vietnamese Arrested in Battambang Census Raids

Nine Vietnamese nationals found to be living in Cambodia illegally were arrested at furniture-making workshops in Battambang City on Tuesday as the national immigration census nears its end, a police official said Wednesday.

Oeun Sarun, deputy provincial police chief, said the raids at the two businesses in Svay Por and Chamkar Samraong communes came after several months of investigations.

“Police have worked in the communes for a few months and after checking records they arrested nine people who were found without passports or immigration documents,” said Mr. Sarun, adding that the seven men and two women were believed to have crossed into Cambodia through illegal checkpoints in Svay Rieng and Kandal provinces within the past month.

Uk Heisela, chief of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said that a total of 1,280 people had been deported since the census began in August, including 1,100 Vietnamese nationals.

Mr. Heisela said the latest group arrested in Battambang would be deported once he had received a letter of confirmation from Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

By Sek Odom

Trafficking is alive and well

Yet another news report started the week proving the abysmal failure in the fight against human trafficking. A Rohingya woman, among nearly 100 crammed like animals into a pickup truck, was crushed to death.

Police, obeying the outdated rules, arrested the other 97 trafficking victims, and the truck driver.

Once again, officials said nothing about pursuing those behind this murderous atrocity.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has mentioned several times during the past few months that a national plan is needed against human trafficking. He is right.

The country has long suffered notoriety as a hub of modern slavery and human trafficking. The PM’s order was promptly followed by new rules and laws to regulate and monitor the appalling fishing industry, to crack down on sex trafficking and child labour, and to compensate the victims of trafficking.

The PM also demanded immediate, monthly reports from state agencies about what they’ve done to stem trafficking and called for better coordination among them.

It remains to be seen how long it will take for orders from the top to turn into real action on the ground. The effectiveness of the policy will depend on action, not just words.

Gen Prayut has spoken of the national necessity to get off the United States’ list of perilous human trafficking locales. Thailand landed on that list last year after 10 years of a declining reputation and three years of specific warnings to improve or be ranked among the worst.

The country did not improve; it now ranks among the worst.

But using the US as motivation to fight human trafficking is not the right way to proceed. Security agencies, the government and the legal system should pursue traffickers, companies that use slavery and cross-border criminals because they are wrong for Thailand — not because we hope for kinder words from America.

Since the government insists on using the Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department as the gold standard, let us recall who was in charge as the annual reports documented Thailand’s slide from a respectable, committed country combatting human trafficking to one of the worst enablers of rights violations in the world.

In chronological order: Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai Party and its successors under several prime ministers; the army junta of 2006-2007 under Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin; the Democrats under Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva; the Pheu Thai government under Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck; and now the Prayut administration, which faces an immense challenge to turn things around.

So much needs to be done. The proposal to register fishing-boat crews and to monitor the operations of commercial trawlers is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. There must be concerted measures to fight traffickers who lure and feed both foreign and Thai men into the dirtiest part of the fishing business.

And we have heard nothing so far from businesses — canners, agribusiness, food packers, clothing manufacturers and many others. Bad apples in business allow human trafficking and slavery to exist.

The government should begin forcing them to ensure decent treatment of legal employees.

By Bangkok Post

Local villagers reject Rohingya

A vacant house in a police compound will be used as a shelter for 95 illegal Rohingya migrants after local Muslims in Nakhon Si Thammarat province refused to allow them to be housed near their communities.

Local authorities had planned to accommodate them at other locations, but Thai Muslim residents in Hua Sai district opposed the idea.

Nakhon Si Thammarat governor Peerasak Hinmuangkao therefore ordered Hua Sai municipal officials to use a vacant house in the police station compound as a shelter. The Rohingya would receive humanitarian aid pending a decision on their future, he said. Further assistance would be provided by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

The Rohingya were rounded up at a road checkpoint in Hua Sai district on Sunday while traveling in a convoy of many pickup trucks.

Municipal workers fumigated the police compound house to kill mosquitoes and placed it off-limits to the public to prevent the possible transmission of malaria from the Rohingya to local communities. Temporary toilets and lighting would be installed, and tap water, he said.

It was reported that four members of the Rohingya group had died at the sea off Thailand’s Phangnga province after waiting for four months aboard a boat for a chance to go ashore. Three more died after landing from suffocation, blood infections and diarrhea.

Police are investigating reports that a local human trafficking cartel is transporting Rohingya through Thailand to Malaysia and charging each illegal migrant 40,000-50,000 baht per trip.

By Bangkok Post

Back to Top