Around 150 Chinese nationals have been deported from Cambodia, accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam, local media reports.
General Department of Immigration director-general Kirth Chantharith said that the Chinese Ministry of Public Security repatriated 150 suspects, including 12 women – on two chartered flights to China.
“Their offenses violated Chinese law and China requested us to investigate and make arrests,” he said, quoted by Phnom Penh post.
General Department of Immigration spokesperson Ath Bunny said the arrests were conducted by the National Police in Preah Sihanouk and Kampong Speu provinces on July 20, with 132 people arrested in Sihanoukville, and 18 from Kampong Speu province.
Bunny said that the Cambodian authorities will continue to search for other Chinese nationals suspected of involvement in VoIP scams.
The deportation came just as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen officially closed the door on online gambling in a parliamentary hearing on Friday.
The Kingdom won’t issue any further licenses and will not renew existing ones once they expire.
Cambodia’s ban follows Beijing’s decision to crackdown on online gambling targeting its citizens.
The decision affects many of the land-based licensees in Cambodia, especially in Sihanoukville, where online and proxy betting are the main drivers of revenue.
Mainland Chinese are reported to now be leaving the country en masse.