Posted on: December 26, 2023, 12:01h.
Last updated on: December 26, 2023, 12:01h.
The recent arrest of nine Thai nationals in Cambodia over allegations of criminal mischief and arson has sparked controversy. The group claims they were lured into an illegal call center syndicate under false promises of lucrative casino jobs. However, Cambodian authorities deny these allegations, stating that the individuals willingly participated in an arson attack.
Background of the Arrest
According to Thai media, the individuals illicitly entered Cambodia in search of better job opportunities at local casinos. Instead, they found themselves trapped in an illegal operation conducting telephone and online scams. Cambodian authorities, however, claim the individuals were involved in a violent confrontation that led to an arson attack at a local building.
Reports from Cambodian authorities state that the Thai group engaged in a violent altercation that resulted in the deliberate arson of the premises and aggression towards those who tried to intervene.
It is alleged that, fearing legal consequences, the Thai nationals tried to escape back to Thailand, resulting in injuries as they crossed the border. However, a human rights group disputes these claims, stating that the individuals were victims of human trafficking and managed to escape from a dangerous situation.
Human Trafficking Allegations
The human rights group claims that a Chinese man, known only as Ah Wang, is responsible for running the trafficking network targeting Thai laborers in Cambodia. The group also believes there are potentially 200 more Thai nationals trapped in the same organization. Allegations of intimidation, physical violence, and even murder have been made by those who managed to escape.
Cambodia, which has been working to combat human trafficking, could face setbacks if the claims made by the Thai nationals are verified.