Vietnam News

Over 50 Vietnamese flee Cambodia casino

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A group of over 50 Vietnamese workers who fled a casino in Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province near Moc Bai border gate were caught by Cambodian authorities on Saturday afternoon.

Authorities in the southern province of Tay Ninh, home to Moc Bai, confirmed that at around 2 p.m., 56 Vietnamese people working in a casino in Bavet Town in Svay Rieng ran from the casino to the main road towards the Moc Bai border gate, around one km from the casino, due to “work disagreements.”

But Cambodian police held this group back for investigation.

“The province has sent forces to coordinate with Cambodian authorities to protect Vietnamese citizens and clarify the case,” a Tay Ninh official said.

A one-minute-long video recorded by local people shows the group fleeing from the casino under heavy rain. There were many people in black uniforms chasing after them. Some fell and were beaten and arrested by these people.

Tran Ngoc Binh, 32, one of the escapees, said he was tricked into working for the Cambodian casino three months ago. Binh said he and many people were put to stay on the eighth floor of a building with high walls and only one exit. He worked on computer for 12 hours a day, and was not allowed to go out.

Binh said nearly 20 people discussed the escape several days ago. They planned to just run and seek help from people outside the casino. As there were no managers around on Saturday afternoon, they called on each other to escape.

Truong Giang, another escapee, said the casino’s owner and managers were avoiding Cambodian police who came to inspect the casino this morning. The Vietnamese workers speculated that they would be sold to another boss, so they decided to run.

“When we broke open the door on the eighth floor, there were only a few guards and they did not try to stop us. But when we reached the casino gate, guards here chased after us and beat us with canes. Around 10 of us were caught,” Giang said.

By 6:30 p.m., one of the escapees told VnExpress that Cambodia authorities have arranged for all of them to stay at a hotel to serve the investigation.

The escape was the second major one by Vietnamese workers in Cambodia reported the past month.

On August 18, 40 Vietnamese swam across the Binh Di River to escape from the Phoenix casino in Cambodia to Vietnam’s An Giang Province.

One of two other people who had also attempted to escape – a teenage boy – drowned in the river, while another was captured by the casino people.

The Vietnamese said they were held at the casino against their will and subjected to torture.

In the first half of this year, the Ministry of Public Security has busted several rings smuggling people to Cambodia for illegal work.

Authorities have rescued hundreds of Vietnamese citizens and supported thousands of others in Cambodia with procedures to return home.

By Staff reporters – – September 17, 2022

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