|One of the victims tells his story. Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post|
Lin Yu Shin, who owns the Giant Ocean International Fishery, is accused of trafficking hundreds of Cambodians and sending them to work in slave-like conditions on fishing vessels around the world including Fiji, Qatar, Malaysia and Singapore.
Cambodian police say she trafficked mostly male workers from rural communities promising wages of about $200 per month in Japan but they were sold on to fishing operations on different ships around the world.
The Phnom Penh Post says victims spoke of how they were exploited by Giant Ocean at a press conference yesterday that was organised by the watchdog group, Adhoc.
Yei Chenda, who is 23, says he joined the company in 2011.
"They sold me to one captain of a fishing ship in Fiji, where my passport was taken and I was forced to work nearly 18 hours a day.”
Yei Chenda says he was told by the Taiwanese captain that if he worked hard, he would be paid extra, and his parents would get his salary. But he says it was months before the ship called in to port and when he was finally able to ring his parents, they told him they had received “nothing.”
Another victim, Rem Vannak, told the paper, Voice of America, he was in Fiji for about two years working 21-hour days for no pay and was beaten when he complained.
Cambodia's Interior Ministry says in at least 700 cases Cambodians were sent to work on ships by Giant Ocean, winding up across the globe, off the coasts of South Africa, Fiji, Qatar, Malaysia and Singapore.
Kun Nath, another alleged victim of Lin’s company, says he ended up in South Africa.
“In one day, we would sleep only two or three hours,” he said. “And though we would work for two or three days continuously, we still had just three hours to sleep. Sometimes, the owner of the ship even hit me and my brothers when we fell asleep. I was thrown into the sea many times, but other Khmers rescued me.”
An estimated 34,000 Cambodians are believed to have gone to work abroad, in places like Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea or Japan in the past five months.