Nine business locations in Preah Sihanouk province were suspected to be involved in human trafficking activities, leading the authorities to shut down five of them, while the other four have been told to temporarily halt their operations while investigations continue.

The shutdown is the result of the operations against human trafficking launched by the government which so far have been carried out for the past 51 days according to the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT).

The NCCT said on October 7 that from August 18 to October 4 the authorities had investigated 420 complaints filed to the NCCT linked to human trafficking.

Based on those complaints, police and relevant authorities have opened investigations and found 229 cases involved with human trafficking and rescued 118 victims of five nationalities.

The crimes involved also include confinement, extortion, torture, prostitution and illegal gambling with a total of 67 suspects who have been apprehended, both Cambodians and foreign nationals.

“The operation has also found nine companies in Preah Sihanouk province to be involved with these crimes, resulting in five companies completely shut down so far and four others temporarily shut down while further investigations proceed,” the NCCT statement said.