Cambodia charges Taiwanese woman with trafficking fishermen

May 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM
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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, May 13 (UPI) -- A Taiwanese woman has been arrested on charges she sold Cambodians into slavery to work on fishing boats around the world, officials say.

A Cambodian judge questioned the woman, Lin Yu Shin, 53, for nearly four hours before sending her to prison to await sentencing, The Phnom Penh Post reported Monday.

Lin, who ran Giant Ocean International Fishery Co. Ltd., was arrested Friday after eluding police since a warrant for her arrest was issued in January.

Police said she had been under investigation since late 2011 after about 170 people complained her company had trafficked Cambodians overseas, said Chiv Phally, deputy chief of the Interior Ministry's anti-human trafficking department.

Lin had sent some 700 Cambodians to work on fishing vessels in countries including South Africa, Micronesia, Fiji, Qatar and Japan, Phally said.

The trafficked individuals were forced to work up to 20 hours a day without pay, he said.

Lin's company closed in 2011 and it is unknown how many of the Cambodians are still working under slave-like conditions, said Joel Preston, a consultant with the Community Legal Education Center.

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