Smuggled By Sea- Now Held In Immigration

On July 18, a ship departed from the port of Fu’an, Fujian, China. After a week, it arrived off Cambodia’s coast on July 24. The ship was intercepted by the Cambodian police and more than 30 Chinese people were found on board in a suspected case of people smuggling.

Aman (a pseudonym) is one of them. He was young and working on a construction site in China, but by chance, he befriended a person on the Internet. This friend seemed very concerned about Aman, and often paid money to help with some expenses. Aman gradually developed trust in this online friend.

The ‘friend’ offered Aman the chance to go to Cambodia and promised a monthly salary of 10,000 yuan ($1,550). So Aman boarded the ship heading for Cambodia.

Aman recalled that during the 7 days on the boat, everyone had different degrees of seasickness, and the only food they ate was instant noodles. The hot temperature was extremely uncomfortable. “I felt dying.”

On the night of arriving off the port of Sihanoukville, more than 30 people, including Aman, were taken away by the police. Aman was place in a hospital for 21 days in isolation for COVID, and then detained at the immigration bureau.

At the immigration office, Aman shared a room with more than twenty people and had two free meals a day. However, Aman said that the meals did not have a lot of oil and water, and he would be charged dozens of dollars if he wanted to add vegetables and meat. If he wanted to order takeout, he needed to tip the guard as much as the value of the food.

Most of the twenty-odd people sleep on the floor. If you want to sleep on wooden boards, you have to buy them. Aman has been held for more than a month, and he doesn’t know when he can return to his country. 

Days in the immigration office were not easy. If one person eats the other’s rice, it will cause conflict, and the result is that the two are called out and punished. “The environment here is like a pigsty in a rural area. We eat and sleep like pigs in it. Some people are detained for too long, and mental problems arise.”

Although Aman is still being held in immigration. He doesn’t know when he can be repatriated, but is still glad that he has been arrested and has not deceived into the abyss of online fraud. Aman said that after learning about the horror of online investment companies, he felt that he was lucky, at least his situation is not life-threatening, and he did not have to face paying high compensation for his freedom.

What troubles Aman most now is that he does not know when he can return to China, so the days of imprisonment are not easy. Although many people on the Internet ridiculed his experience, saying he “deserves it,” Aman responded politely, blaming himself for being too young and being tempted by money.

It’s just that under the background of a large number of cancellations of flights from Cambodia to China, it is difficult for people who work normally to return to China, and his return to China is delayed indefinitely.

This should be a reminder to everyone not to be tempted by so-called high-paying jobs and fall into a trap carefully weaved by others. Those stranded in Cambodia should also be vigilant when seeking jobs to avoid being deceived.

For people who are deceived like Aman, understand a little bit more, after all, they are also victims to some extent. They have been punished as they deserve, so don’t be too harsh. KHDAN

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