Monday, 30 June 2008

Two jailed for fleecing Vietnamese Montagnards in Cambodia

The Earth Times

Mon, 30 Jun 2008
Author : DPA

Phnom Penh - Two people were jailed for four months each by a Cambodian court for harbouring Vietnamese Montagnards for a fee after they entered the country illegally and then cheating them, local media reported Monday. Khmer-language Rasmei Kampuchea daily reported that Phann Savang, 55, and her colleague Leir Yainghay, 37, had taken in three Montagnards with the promise they could take them safely to a United Nations refugee facility in return for 70 dollars from each.

However, the pair failed to make good on their promise and were arrested in March and accused of taking money under false pretences, Rasmei reported Phnom Penh Municipal Court was told.

Montagnards are a primitive, mostly Christian minority from the Vietnamese highlands who have sometimes claimed refugee status in Cambodia, alleging persecution in Vietnam, and sought repatriation from there to a third country such as the US.

They claim their religion and the fact that they fought with the US against the Vietnamese communists makes them targets of discrimination - charges Vietnam denies.

The fate of the cheated Montagnards was unclear.

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