Getting to freedom
Over the weekend, 60 Vietnamese citizens escaped from a casino in Cambodia where they were allegedly being held and exploited. It marks the second time a group of Vietnamese workers has escaped from a Cambodian casino in less than a month.
four people failed to escape
The escape took place in the city of Bavet in Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province, close to a border gate leading to Vietnam. Another four people failed to escape and were caught by casino guards.
A video clip uploaded to social media Saturday afternoon appeared to show the workers running out of the casino. It was raining heavily during the escape and some of those caught by guards were supposedly subject to beatings.
A serious issue
As reported by Radio Free Asia, the Vietnam embassy in Cambodia has made inquiries to establish exactly what took place. It has called on the authorities in Cambodia to help rescue any more Vietnamese citizens that remain at the casino and return the escapees to their homes.
Following the incident, local police in Cambodia called on the casino to release an additional 11 Vietnamese nationals. Police then conducted interviews with the workers.
While some licensed casinos do operate in Cambodia, there are also many illegal casinos in the country. On Saturday, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen reiterated that officials will carry out a strict crackdown on illegal gambling amid the rising number of human trafficking cases.
Not the first incident
Another similar Cambodia casino escape took place last month on August 18. That time, more than 40 Vietnamese nationals escaped a Chinese-managed casino in the Kandal province. They swam across a river to get into Vietnam, with one teenage boy drowning.
numerous crime rings smuggling people into Cambodia
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it has aided approximately 600 Vietnamese nationals in getting back to their home country so far in 2022. Authorities have broken up numerous crime rings smuggling people into Cambodia to force them to work.
A large number of Vietnamese people travel to Cambodia on the promise of high salaries. However, many of them end up victims of exploitation and abuse. In certain cases, their captors try to get ransom money from their relatives in order to let them go.