PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Twenty-nine Chinese nationals were arrested in Cambodia on Monday on suspicion of operating a telecoms scam to defraud victims in China, police said, and will be deported next week.
Cambodia has deported 500 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals in recent years in a crackdown on internet and telecoms scams orchestrated from Cambodia, according to police.
Uk Heisela, investigation chief at Cambodia’s immigration department, said on Monday China would send a plane to pick up the suspects next week.
“They will be deported once all documents are done. China will pick them up within a week, at the latest,” Uk Heisela told Reuters.
Cambodia sent home 74 Chinese nationals on June 6 who were wanted on suspicion of extorting money from people in China, the first such expulsion this year.
The Chinese nationals who were arrested in the capital Phnom Penh on Monday had no lawyers because their cases would be handled in China, Uk Heisela said.
Cambodia is one of China’s closest allies in Southeast Asia.
The Southeast Asian nation also deported 13 Taiwanese nationals wanted on the same charges to mainland China last year despite opposition from Taipei, which has accused Beijing of “abducting” its citizens from countries, such as Cambodia, that do not recognise the island’s government.
Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Paul Tait