Cambodian fishermen saved near Mauritius

2013-04-10 17:06
Twenty-two Cambodians have been rescued off Thai fishing boats. (Picture: AFP)

Twenty-two Cambodians have been rescued off Thai fishing boats. (Picture: AFP)

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Phnom Penh - Twenty-two Cambodians trafficked onto Thai fishing boats have been rescued near the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, a Cambodian official said on Wednesday.

The men, working on Thai boats fishing illegally in Mauritian waters, were rescued in co-operation with the island and the International Organisation for Migration, interior ministry official Chiv Phally told AFP.

"We are investigating to see how they ended up on Thai fishing boats," he said, adding that 11 of the men were flown home on Tuesday while the remaining 11 will arrive on Thursday.

Rights campaigners believe thousands of Myanmar and Cambodian men have been trafficked into Thailand's multi-million dollar fishing industry, which provides seafood for restaurants and supermarkets around the world.

The US state department has placed Thailand on a trafficking in persons "watchlist" for two years running.

Tens of thousands of Cambodians are believed to illegally enter Thailand every year with the help of brokers who promise them well-paid jobs.

Some are "forced at gunpoint to go onto Thai fishing boats to work without salaries”, said Moeun Tola of the Cambodian Legal Education Centre.

Read more on:    cambodia  |  mauritius  |  thailand

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