Chinese human traffickers dodge COVID-19 travel restrictions

Chinese people are paying for human traffickers to illegally smuggle them in and out of Cambodia by land and sea.

Citizens of China that are trapped in Cambodia and wanting to return home are taking extreme measures. Plane ticket costs have skyrocketed due to the Covid-19 outbreak making some go as far as to pay human traffickers to be smuggled back home by land or sea.

Some people who have been isolated due to the virus outbreak are preparing to return to Cambodia immediately after the isolation period.



Last week, several people have asked how to return to Cambodia under the current circumstances and how to apply for necessary health certificates and medical insurance.

Many advertisements are circulating on WeChat groups promoting visas, health certificates and medical insurance.



Some have wives and children in Cambodia, so they are in a bigger hurry to return as soon as possible.

Others own factories and wish to return in order to continue working and to protect their investments.

Mr. Wang (pseudonym) told reporters that he had to return to Cambodia quickly because he owns a factory in Phnom Penh. “Now people who own factories and other businesses will want to come back”, he said. Mr. Wang’s factory had temporarily ceased operations because orders from customers in Europe and the United States had stalled. “It is impossible to continue production and nobody wants to buy our products so I plan to take a 20 day holiday during the Khmer New Year”, he said. Mr. Wang is following the developments of the epidemic closely and will re-evaluate the situation at the end of the month to decide whether he will return to Cambodia or remain in China.

Sick travelers returning from Cambodia test positive for virus

According to a report by the Sichuan Provincial Health Commission of China a traveler tested positive for the Coronavirus after a 3 day holiday in Cambodia. The traveler is a 22 year old woman named only as Zhao.

Previously the Guangzhou Health and Welfare Commission of China said in a report that a Chinese businessman was also diagnosed with the Coronavirus after traveling to Cambodia. He left Sihanoukville on April 3 and traveled to Guangzhou with a layover in Phnom Penh.

Yesterday the Sichuan Provincial Health Commission also notified a case of a confirmed diagnosis of a British student who returned to China via a Cambodian flight.

A total of 21 people have been diagnosed with the virus on flights from Cambodia. Among them, 12 people had been staying in Cambodia, and 9 people were on flights that transited through the country.

Cambodia has reported no new cases of Covid-19 for three days in a row. The Kingdom has confirmed 114 cases in total with 53 making full recoveries and no deaths recorded.

In addition, according to local media reports, a 63-year-old Cambodian man died of Coronavirus in New York, United States on April 4, and a 65-year-old Cambodian woman died of Coronavirus in Seattle, United States on March 22 .

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