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Thai Link to Human Trafficking of Cambodians



Anti-human trafficking division police search a fishing trawler in an estuary in Samut Sakhon for any crew who might have been trafficked to work on the ship, in this file photo from November 2012. It’s alleged that 10 Cambodian human trafficking victims to be repatriated from Indonesia were sent to the country to work as fishermen via Thailand. Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham.


JAKARTA – Indonesia will repatriate 10 Cambodian human trafficking victims, who allegedly arrived in the country after being tricked into taking jobs there by agents in Thailand.

The Cambodians had been held at immigration quarantine facilities in Ambon city on Ambon Island in Maluku province of eastern Indonesia since January, Ambon Immigration Office head I Dewa Sukawiryawan said on Tuesday.

“Most of the Cambodians are young and they claim they were deceived by several companies in Thailand that had promised them decent jobs. In fact, they ended up being employed as fishermen in Maluku waters,” Mr I Dewa said, according to a report by the Jakarta Post.

The Cambodians were arrested by Indonesian police when they became stranded in Ambon Island waters. They were then sent to quarantine facilities.

The group will be sent home via Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, in what will be the third repatriation of Cambodian citizens from Indonesia this year.

Indonesia sent 10 Cambodians home on Feb 19 and another 10 on Feb 26 with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Officials from the immigration office and IOM officers would escort the Cambodians during their journey from Ambon to Jakarta, Mr I Dewa said.

He added that the group would be entrusted to the Immigration Directorate General on arrival in Jakarta before leaving for their home country via Soekarno-Hatta airport the following day.

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