The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday urged people who are planning to work in Cambodia to exercise caution after Taiwanese were reportedly coerced into engaging in fraudulent activity in the country.
More than 10 such cases have been reported, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing in Taipei, adding that the victims had been forced to work illegally after they had been held against their will and had their passports taken away.
The ministry said it received the reports through its representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, adding that it is working to ensure that the individuals involved can return to Taiwan.
They had been lured to take up work in Cambodia by criminal groups that promised them high salaries and favorable treatment, Ou said.
However, when they arrived, their freedom of movement was restricted, Ou said, adding that those who resisted had been beaten.
Some of them negotiated with their captors about potential conditions of their release, and were asked to pay for air tickets, accommodation and other expenses, totaling US$10,000 to US$30,000, Ou said.
“If you are going to Cambodia for work, we urge you to be vigilant. Look into the company that is hiring you and make sure you understand the details of the work you will be asked to do,” she said. “Make sure you will not break the law, or worse, endangering your personal safety.”
As the nation’s representative office in Phnom Penh was closed in 1997, Taiwanese in need of consular assistance in Cambodia are asked to contact the office in Ho Chi Minh City, she added.
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