PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN):More than 100 Vietnamese illegally residing and working in Cambodia were deported on June 1 by officials from the General Department of Immigration’s investigation and procedure implementation department.
Bavet town police chief Em Sovannarith said the 106 Vietnamese were stopped at the Bavet international border checkpoint at 10am while attempting to cross the border in search of work.
Cambodian authorities detained the group then handed them back to officials at Vietnam’s Moc Bai international border checkpoint at 11:30am.
The group had worked in Svay Rieng province, but due to Covid-19 they could not return to Vietnam.
“In fact, they have both ID cards and passports to work in Cambodia. They could have entered the country in the morning and left in the evening. But due to Covid-19, they were stuck and then we found them, ” Sovannarith said.
“The group was returned to Vietnam because they had overstayed. However, we also took samples for testing and they do not have health problems related to Covid, ” he said.
In a similar case, 18 Vietnamese were deported from Preah Sihanouk province by the Eviction Preparation Office of the Investigation and Procedure Implementation Department working with the Prek Chak international border checkpoint police.
A post on the General Department of Immigration’s Facebook page on June 1 said a prakas from the Ministry of Interior stated this group was banned from entering Cambodia for three years.
“The 18 foreign nationals had committed overstay offences and crossed the border illegally without passports. They had violated the provincial administration’s lockdown, ” the Facebook post said.
Provincial Adhoc coordinator Cheap Sotheary said that it was good when authorities performed their duties and showed results. However, in the past they had not revealed to the public much information about deportations.
“Revealing information to the public is good. But we would like such information shown regularly. Don’t take action then go quiet. In Preah Sihanouk province, foreigners come, stay and do business illegally and they also take Cambodian jobs, ” she said.
General Department of Immigration spokesman Keo Vanthorn said most of foreigners entering Cambodia to invest or work were legal. Most foreigners that police deported from Cambodia had no passports. They had overstayed their visas and sneaked across the border and had no money.
“Foreigners who come to invest or work and have passports, visas and working permits are legal. So, people who cross the border illegally are arrested and sent back to their place of origin, ” he said. - The Phnom Penh Post/Asia News Network