By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
MALAYSIAN authorities had decided not to prosecute 49 members of a group of 74 Cambodian nationals who were arrested and detained in Malaysia for working there illegally, Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said yesterday.
The group – including 43 men, 16 women, nine boys and six girls – was arrested on January 1 by immigration police in Malaysia’s Johor province for not holding proper travel or work documents.
Koy Kuong did not explain yesterday why Malaysian immigration officials had decided not to prosecute 49 of the detainees and said he did not know when the group would be released and repatriated to Cambodia.
He said, however, that officials are still investigating the cases of the remaining 25 members of the group, who may have to face court in Malaysia.
“I am pleased Malaysian authorities have decided not to fine our 49 Cambodian people,” he said. “I would like to request the Malaysian party to fine none of these 74 people and to release them back to their homes in Cambodia.”
Ya Navuth, executive director of the NGO Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility, said the detainees could expect to face “many fines and punishments” if convicted. BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA