PHNOM PENH (FN), September, 2 – Once receiving a report that 16 Cambodian workers were arrested when they were on their way from Bangkok without passports and travel documents, Senior Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn has instructed Cambodian Consular in Sa Kaeo province, Thailand, to urgently intervene and secure their release, a press release issued today by the Foreign Ministry said.

In the wake of the arrest, Cambodian Consular in Sa Kaeo province, Thailand, has coordinated with the authorities of Sa Kaeo for the release of the workers and contacted the Thai employers to return passports to the workers, said the Ministry, adding that once receiving the passports, the Consular arranged for the workers to be safely repatriated via Poi Pet international border checkpoint on August 28, 2016. All the 16 workers were original residents of Banteay Meanchey province.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced that another 23 Cambodians workers originally from Kratie and Kandal provinces, who were arrested on August 5, 2016 for illegally working in Malaysia, will be repatriated to Cambodia next week.

According to a separate press release received by Fresh News on September 2, 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has instructed Cambodian Embassy in Malaysia to intervene for the release of 23 Cambodian workers (20 men and 22 of them were from Kratie with one from Kandal) who were arrested by Malaysian police in Kedah state on August 5, 2016 for either illegally working or staying and working beyond the expiry dates, to be all repatriated to Cambodia.

“It is at the request of Cambodian Embassy in Malaysia that the Malaysian authorities agreed to release them and that the Malaysian employer agreed to pay the airfare for all thee 23 who are scheduled to arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport on Flight AK 534 in the evening of September, 7, 2016, next week, ” the Ministry said.