Pacific Real Estate / Golden Phoenix Entertainment City

One of the most shocking incidents concerning Cambodia’s online crime compounds occurred in August 2022, when video footage was posted online showing a large group of Vietnamese nationals fleeing a compound close to the border with Vietnam, pursued by heavyset security guards wielding metal bars. Over 40 escapees leapt into the river and swam to Vietnam, one drowning in the process. After an initial clumsy cover-up, it became clear that the compound held many more people forced to work in online gambling and scam operations. The compound is located in an area hosting several online crime operations and border casinos, many staffed by undocumented Vietnamese workers.
  • Published 6 Nov, 2022

Chinese Names: 太平洋房地产 / 金凤娱乐城
Location: Chrey Thom Commune, Koh Thom District, Kandal Province, Cambodia.

  • Hum Sovanny (ហ៊ុំ សុវណ្ណនី)
  • Liu Yang (刘阳) / Liu Le O (លៀវ លីអូ)
  • Yu Lingxiong (俞凌雄) / Pov Chumnit (ពៅ ជំនិត)
  • Hing Bun Hieng (ហ៊ីង ប៊ុនហៀង)
  • Tai Ping Yang Fang Di Chan Wu Ye Guan Li Co., Ltd. (Pacific Real Estate (Property) Management Co., Ltd. / 太平洋房地产(物业)管理有限公司)
  • Jinsha Holding Group (金莎控股集团)
  • Rich World International Casino (财富国际赌场)

What Do We Know about Pacific / Golden Phoenix?

On 18 August 2022, dramatic video footage emerged of a large group of people running from the gates of a walled building complex pursued by guards wielding metal bars. Most managed to get away and leapt into a river running alongside the compound, but one was recaptured and a boy drowned during the escape attempt. Soon after, more video footage emerged on a Vietnamese Facebook account showing the escape from the other side of the border, giving a fuller view of the escapees floating down the murky river. The compound security can be seen lashing out at the fleeing people, but most were able to escape, and the video cuts out with the heavyset shaven-headed pursuers watching as the people float off down the river. A similar escape happened in Sihanoukville in April 2022, when as many as 200 Vietnamese rushed the guards in a night-time escape bid at the Jingang Hotel complex (see profile here), and more than 60 fled a compound at Moc Bai Casino in Bavet in September.

It emerged in the following days that 42 Vietnamese had fled the compound, which is located in Chrey Thom Commune, Koh Thom District, Kandal Province, an area known as ‘Caitong’ (财通) in Chinese. This border region is home to a handful of casinos, and several large online operations are also based there. The place appears in numerous Chinese-language articles dating back at least two years, with many reports discussing Chinese people being sold to operators in the area and held against their will.

The front of the Pacific/Golden Phoenix Compound. Source: 西港日记.

Media reports have used numerous names to refer to the compound, including Pacific Real Estate, Pacific Casino, Taipingyang Casino, Golden Phoenix Entertainment Casino, Golden Phoenix Entertainment City, Two Elephant Casino, Rich World Casino, and Rich World KTV. Images of the buildings show a large logo of the company Pacific Real Estate (Property) Management Co., Ltd. (太平洋房地产(物业)管理有限公司) on the wall, and Golden Phoenix Entertainment City (金凤娱乐城) on the archway over the entrance. One media report states the escapees worked at Rich World Casino (富世赌场) on arriving, but its name was later changed to Golden Phoenix. For the purpose of this profile, the compound is referred to as Pacific/Golden Phoenix. Taipingyang (太平洋) is Chinese for ‘Pacific’.

Stills from video footage of the escape from the compound, 18 August 2022. Sources: SH News 24h & Nét Đẹp An Phú.

After news of the escape broke, the provincial government conducted an assessment of the site. Initially, officials attempted to cover up the event. The provincial police chief told reporters that it was not a violent event, and provincial governor Kong Sophorn called it a ‘labour dispute’, and attempted to steer discussion towards the fact that the people may have been illegal immigrants and that they injured security guards. Speaking with CamboJA News, Governor Sophorn said: ‘When security tried to prevent them from leaving, they threatened them with a knife and so security took sticks to fight back.’ He went on to say some of the workers who jumped into the river were seen laughing, which showed they could not have been victims of abuse, and alleged that workers had violated company rules by using drugs, for which the company had fined them for breach of contract, causing their angry reaction. The deputy provincial governor told Voice of Democracy (VOD) that the company was not detaining people, was paying people properly, and that workers broke out to ‘avoid responsibility of their work’ and due to gambling debts.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng was more measured but still presented the case as a labour dispute, telling reporters: ‘They are Vietnamese and ran back to Vietnam because they had a disagreement.’ This aligns with a narrative that the Cambodian government has tried to hold that people are generally not ‘illegally detained’ by online compound operators, but escape or request rescue due to disagreements over work conditions and pay. As more details emerged, these unconvincing responses became increasingly hard to believe. Footage from the escape showed the security guards were the aggressors, and although the Chrey Thom/Binh Di river is relatively narrow, leaping into a swollen river in Cambodia during the rainy season is a dangerous prospect, indicating the level of desperation of the workers. Indeed, one 16-year-old boy tragically drowned in the escape attempt. More may have perished if not for local fisherman rescuing them from the water. One 25-year-old who joined the escape was recaptured by the compound security guards and nine were ‘slightly injured’, according to Tuổi Trẻ News.

Stills from video footage show security guards with weapons attempting to prevent the escape, 18 August 2022. Source: SH News 24h.

When VOD reporters visited the compound in the hours following the escape, they described five men dressed in camouflage milling among the crowd, one of whom said the man that security guards recaptured ‘was beaten nearly to death’ by company security guards. Another man dressed in camouflage told reporters to direct their questions to Hing Bun Hieng, the head of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit. A person who worked in the compound told reporters that this was not the first escape, but previous attempts were by individuals rather than a large group.

Testimonies from the survivors paint a much more complex picture than that presented by the Cambodian authorities. In one report by VnExpress titled ‘Exploitation, Misery Drove Vietnamese Workers to Flee Hellish Cambodian Casinos’, escapees spoke of violence inside the compound. One 20-year-old woman told the paper: ‘None of us could sleep last night, it was too traumatising’. She claims the group was ‘tricked and sold to Cambodia’ after replying to a recruitment post on Facebook that offered a generous salary and good working conditions, but instead she and her husband ended up in a place she described as ‘hell’. Although numerous media reports described the compound as a ‘casino’, reports indicate it is at least in part an online scam operation. The woman, Diep, told VnExpress that she did not know the work would involve scamming, but ‘if I didn’t do it, I would be beaten, my life would be at risk.’ Workers toiled 14 hours a day and were threatened with violence if they failed to hit targets. A 30-year-old man told the paper that he took the job after being told it would be in Tay Ninh in Vietnam and that he did not know the work was to scam people. After failing to hit targets, he says he was sold between companies three times. If people wanted to leave, they were required to contact their families to raise funds to pay a ransom.

The compound has all the hallmarks of an online scam/gambling operation, and it was known locally as a place that was best avoided. Tuổi Trẻ News visited the area and spoke with local residents. A local driver told reporters: ‘The roads are public property, but [the Chinese in the area] treat them like private assets. Strangers are constantly observed … They always look angry. Even the locals are scared of them.’ A fisherman said: ‘Both adults and children are warned against coming close [to the casino]’, and a vendor warned Tuổi Trẻ reporters against approaching the compound.

The escape was well-planned and took two days to prepare. Noting that there were less managers on duty in the morning, and that the gates would be open at that time, the group rushed the entrance at 10am, with young men at the front creating an opening for the women to follow. At first surprised, the guards regrouped and gave chase with metal bars. When they reached the banks of the river in An Giang Province, Vietnamese border guards detained the 40 escapees.

The Vietnam government was quick to respond to the incident, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters it had directed its diplomats in Cambodia to contact local authorities to ‘clarify the case and inspect this casino’ and to investigate the cause of the escape, committing to following up on the case and monitor the situation. The following week, Vietnamese police reported that they had identified four human trafficking rings involved in smuggling the 42 escapees to Cambodia and detained two people for brokering illegal exit from Vietnam.

Soon after the news of the escape broke, the Kandal deputy governor told VOD that nobody from the company was detained, saying: ‘There is no detention since there are not any illegal activities and the casino is legitimate and licensed … so there is not any detention or arrests of representatives or owners as they have not run away.’ This was contradicted soon after by an Immigration Department spokesman who told local media that a manager had been detained for questioning, during which he admitted forcing people to work against their will, but claimed that they owed the company money. The spokesman also said another 11 Vietnamese people who failed to escape were questioned, and none had passports. From the reporting, it appears highly likely that a number of serious criminal offences have taken place in this case, including human trafficking, illegal detention, forced labour, physical violence, and employment of undocumented immigrants. However, at the time of writing in late October 2022 no criminal charges had been announced against any of those involved.

In the weeks following the escape, more people were released from the compound. A week later, VnExpress reported on a statement from Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that 25 Vietnamese citizens who had been ‘tricked to become workers’ in Cambodia were ready to return to Vietnam. This included 11 who were duped into working at Pacific/Golden Phoenix, including the person who had tried to escape but had been re-captured by guards. The following week, an official from Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security told the media that this is part of a much larger problem, and that thousands of Vietnamese may have been smuggled to Cambodia and rescuing them is difficult. Authorities said many of these people are lured with offers of ‘easy jobs with high pay’, then smuggled into casinos and other facilities where they are exploited, forced to work in harsh environments, and not paid the agreed salary. Many of those enticed by these job offers are poor and include teenagers. According to Vietnam’s National Committee for Prevention of Human Trafficking, from the start of the year to 20 August, 865 victims were rescued from Cambodia.

This shocking incident gained extensive media coverage (see full list of links at the end of this profile), not only in Cambodia but also in Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, and by international news agencies. It was also picked up by numerous gambling industry media sites.  In October 2022, The Guardian spoke with one of the people that escaped Pacific/Golden Phoenix. Using a pseudonym, Ly Thi Lan told the newspaper how she took the job after seeing a recruitment ad on Facebook, with minimal requirements and a good salary. She accepted the position and her husband went with her, but on arrival found that the job was scamming people online. Refusal to work could result in being taken to a room on the upper levels of the building and subject to beatings and electric shocks. She realised only later that she had been sold to the company and that to leave she would have to pay. Another person, using the name Pham Nguyen Anh Tuan, shared a similar story with The Guardian.

This was not the first or last time that Pacific/Golden Phoenix was in the news. According to a report by Tuổi Trẻ News, in April a Vietnamese-Cambodian rescuer helped three minors escape the compound. The rescuer received a call from a man who said his 17-year-old son was held at Pacific/Golden Phoenix. The son and his three friends initially found work at Yongyuan Casino, also in Chrey Thom Commune, but when they tried to leave were told they each had to pay US$2,500. The rescuer tracked down one of the young men at Yongyuan and paid the ransom, but the other three had already been moved to Pacific/Golden Phoenix, where the ransom had increased to US$5,000 each.

It is not only Vietnamese people who have been held at the compound. In July 2021, Chinese-language media reported that Chinese and Cambodian police cooperated to rescue six Chinese people from Pacific/Golden Phoenix. In 2022, Al Jazeera conducted an investigation into human trafficking and forced labour in Cambodia’s online compounds and met several Burmese men who claimed they had been abducted in Thailand and taken to the same compound. Just two weeks after the escape, 40 Thai nationals were removed. This followed a joint operation by Thai and Cambodian police, which VOD reported cracked a 100-million-baht (US$2.7 million) scam operation. All were charged with illegal entry into Cambodia and after processing would be deported to Thailand, where they would face charges. The authors met one Chinese couple who were smuggled to Cambodia by boat in early 2022 and initially worked at a scam operation in the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound. The girl was just 16 at the time and already pregnant when she was brought to Cambodia. Due to poor performance, the man was subjected to physical violence and electric shocks in front of his girlfriend. They were sold to a compound in the ‘Chinatown’ area of Sihanoukville before they were rescued.

People were recruited to work at the compound by brokers in Vietnam and online. The authors found several examples online, including one Facebook account with the name Liu Ming (刘铭), which for a period was posting recruitment ads for Chinese, Cambodian and Vietnamese workers to work in Pacific/Golden Phoenix on an almost daily basis. The basic Chinese-language ads called for chefs, people who can type in Chinese, people who can use Excel, translators, and people with ‘relevant work experience’. One post said a large number of Vietnamese were required urgently and encouraged intermediaries to assist.

Samples of Facebook online recruitment for Pacific Real Estate Property Management. Source: 刘铭.

Which Actors and Companies Have Been Linked to Pacific / Golden Phoenix?

As noted above, some media reports referred to the compound as ‘Rich World’, and a pin for Rich World Casino still appears on Google Maps at the location of the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound. One media report suggests that Rich World changed its name to Golden Phoenix, but it is not clear if this signifies a change in ownership. In January 2019, a ceremony was held for the topping off of the Rich World International Casino (财富国际赌场). The event was attended by Kun Kim, who was at the time Deputy Supreme Commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and his son Kim Rithy (who at the time was deputy governor of Kandal Province). Kun Kim has been subject to US sanctions since December 2019 under the Global Magnitsky Act for alleged involvement in corruption. There is limited information available on Rich World, but one article refers to the Rich World International Science and Technology Park (财富国际科技园) as a Singapore-Macau-Cambodian invested project.

Rich World International Casino ceremony. Kim Rithy, second from left; Kun Kim, fourth from left, January 2019. Source: 柬埔寨中文社区.
Kun Kim inspects Rich World International Casino construction, January 2019. Source: 柬埔寨中文社区.

The most prominent signs now at the compound are of Pacific Real Estate Property Management Co., Ltd. The company Tai Ping Yang Fang Di Chan Wu Ye Guan Li Co., Ltd. was registered in June 2021. This is a transliteration of 太平洋房地产物业管理有限公司 (or Pacific Real Estate Property Management Co., Ltd.). According to Cambodia’s business registry, it was originally chaired by Chinese national Xia Bing, then by Cambodian Cheang Channa (ជាង ចន្), and at the time of writing in October 2022 the chair was Hum Sovanny (ហ៊ុំ សុវណ្ណនី).

The compound was previously owned by Jinsha Holding Group (金莎控股集团), but according to a company statement from 30 June 2021, it transferred ownership of the compound to Pacific Real Estate. Jinsha describes itself as a large-scale international investment management group headquartered in Phnom Penh, mainly involved in ‘digital asset investment management’. The chairman of Jinsha is Liu Yang (刘阳), who obtained Cambodian citizenship in 2019 under the name Liu Le O (លៀវ លីអូ). In 2021, Liu Yang took over chairmanship of the China Commerce in Cambodia Association, which was originally founded by Yu Lingxiong (see more below).

According to Chinese business media Caijing, reporting in February 2022, Liu ran an online fraud company in Cambodia but had since relocated to Dubai. Sources in Cambodia told the authors of this profile that it is widely thought Liu has indeed relocated to Dubai. Materials can be found online showing Liu Yang speaking at various blockchain events in Dubai under the name Liu Leo. In the relatively brief period he was active in Cambodia, Liu Yang networked extensively, made numerous donations to government and state actors, and in addition to his Cambodian citizenship, in July 2021 he acquired a position as advisor to National Assembly 1st Deputy President Nguon Nhel, giving him rank equal to minister and the title ‘His Excellency’. Speaking at global blockchain events, he continues to present himself as an advisor to the Cambodian National Assembly.

Liu Yang’s naturalisation decree, taking Cambodian citizenship under the name Liu Le O, November 2019.

Decree appointing Liu Yang as adviser to National Assembly 1st Deputy President Nguon Nhel, July 2021.

Program for Future Blockchain Summit, 10–13 October 2022, Dubai. Source: Dubai World Trade Centre.

In May 2021, as Cambodia was striving to contain the outbreak of Covid-19 infections in the country, Liu Yang made several donations of materials, food, and cash to support the containment efforts. Prime Minister Hun Sen sent a signed thank-you letter in acknowledgement of these donations. The donation ceremony was held at the Bodyguard Unit General Command in Ta Khmao City, Kandal Province, with donations received by bodyguard chief General Hing Bun Hieng, who as mentioned below has interacted with actors linked to the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound on multiple occasions. Liu Yang provided donations to the Ta Khmao City and Koh Thom District administrations, as well as the Artillery Command, Central Military Command, Special Military Command, Kandal Region Military, Kandal Provincial Police Department, and Kandal Provincial Gendarmerie. The total value of the donations was US$540,000.

In July 2021, Liu Yang donated 30 Dongfeng brand trucks and five Dongfeng ambulances to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to assist in delivering supplies during the epidemic response period. The Prime Minister again sent a letter thanking him for the donations, the third such letter that Liu received from the Prime Minister.

Letter of thanks from Prime Minister Hun Sen to Liu Yang for the donation of three vehicles to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Source: Tnaot.

Donation of Dongfeng ambulances to Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, July 2021. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

Donation of Dongfeng trucks to Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, July 2021. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

Kandal Provincial Governor Kong Sophorn receives donations from Liu Yang, May 2021. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

General Hing Bun Hieng receives donations from Liu Yang, May 2021. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

Letter of thanks from Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife to Liu Yang, May 2021. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

Liu Yang is, or was, a business associate of Yu Lingxiong (俞凌雄), who received Cambodian citizenship in 2017 under the name Pov Chumnit (ពៅ ជំនិត). Company registration records show that Yu has been linked to at least 10 companies in Cambodia. For two of these companies, Cambodia’s business registry lists Yu Lingxiong as chairman and Liu Yang as director. They are Jin Sha Kong Gu Co., Ltd. (Jinsha Holding Group) and Gold Sheng Kong Gu Co., Ltd. (Jinsheng Holding Group).

Naturalisation decree granting Yu Lingxiong Cambodian citizenship under the name Pov Chumnit, November 2017.

Yu is a notorious figure, wanted in China for running pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing scams. After arriving in Cambodia. Yu networked with high-level Cambodian actors, and has been photographed with Prime Minister Hun Sen, his son, Lieutenant General Hun Manet, Deputy Prime Minister Mem Sam An, and Cambodian People’s Party spokesman and National Assembly Member for Preah Vihear, Sous Yara. In 2020, he donated US$50,000 to support Cambodia’s pandemic response efforts, for which he received a letter of thanks from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Yu Lingxiong with Prime Minister Hun Sen, 2017. Source: 中柬商业协会.

Yu Lingxiong with Lieutenant General Hun Manet, date unknown. Source: Cambodia-China Monitor.

Yu Lingxiong launches the China Commerce in Cambodia Association with Deputy Prime Minister Mem Sam An and National Assembly Member/Cambodian People’s Party Spokesman Sous Yara present, 2017. Source: Cambodia-China Monitor.

Yu Lingxiong with Deputy Prime Minister Mem Sam An, date unknown. Source: 耳朵财经.

Yu Lingxiong meets with Deputy Prime Minister Mem Sam An and Deputy Commander of Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, Nob Roth Nimol, July 2018. Source: Zhihu.

Yu Lingxiong and former Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor, Yun Min, date unknown. Source: Tencent.

Letter of thanks from Prime Minister Hun Sen to Yu Lingxiong for a US$50,000 donation for pandemic response, October 2020. Source: Sohu.

Yu Lingxiong attends a Cambodian Red Cross event, date unknown. Source: 虎嗅网.

Yu Lingxiong meets delegation of Jiangsu Provincial Public Security Bureau, 2018. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

Yu Lingxiong, in his position as vice president of the China Association of Small and Medium Business Enterprises, meets the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, July 2017. Source: Sohu.

Yu Lingxiong appeared to enjoy a particularly close relationship with the head of Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, General Hing Bun Hieng. In 2017, Yu donated dozens of motorbikes to the bodyguard unit. The same year, Yu and the general distributed scholarships and gifts to students at a high school in Kandal. In 2017, Yu registered a company in Cambodia called Global China City Co., Ltd. One director at the company was Hing Sokleap (ហ៊ីង​ សុខ​លាភ​), General Hing Bun Hieng’s daughter and wife of three-star general and deputy commander of the Bodyguard Unit, Nop Rothnimol. Another director was Chhem Ratanakvisal, who is the assistant to Nop Rothnimol. This company has since been deleted from Cambodia’s company register. It is worth noting that when reporting on the escape of the 42 Vietnamese workers from Pacific/Golden Phoenix in August 2022, a man in camouflage told VOD reporters to direct their questions to General Hing Bun Hieng.

In June 2021, while it was still under the banner of Jinsha Holding Group, the compound was inspected by a delegation led by Phok Chantha, an adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Deputy Chief of Joint Staff of the Cambodian armed forces, and Deputy Commander of the Bodyguard Headquarters. Immigration, police, provincial, and local government officials also joined the inspection. Soon after, the park was transferred to Pacific Real Estate.

Yu Lingxiong toasts with Bodyguard Unit head, General Hing Bun Hieng, date unknown. Source: KK News.

Yu Lingxiong makes a donation of dozens of motorbikes to Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, 2017. Source: 中柬商业协会.

Yu Lingxiong donates dozens of motorbikes to Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, 2017. Source: 耳朵财经.

Yu Lingxiong and Bodyguard Unit head, General Hing Bun Hieng, date unknown. Source: Tencent.

Yu Lingxiong and General Hing Bun Hieng distribute scholarships and gifts to high school students in Kandal. Source: 中柬商业协会.

Yu Lingxiong with Bodyguard Unit Officials, 2017. Source: Tencent.

Yu Lingxiong, in his position as vice president of the China Association of Small and Medium Business Enterprises, meets General Hing Bun Hieng, July 2017. Source: Sohu.

Yu Lingxiong has been quiet in recent years, and there are rumours that he is either in hiding in Cambodia or has moved to another country. He was previously associated with a Myanmar national connected to the White Sand Group, which is also implicated in reports of online scams and human rights abuses (profiled here).

Location of Pacific / Golden Phoenix

Links to Other Compounds, Companies, and Individuals

Yu Lingxiong, the chairman of Jinsha Holding Group, was previously linked to Myanmar national Ahr San of White Sand Group and was once CEO of White Sand Group, which is implicated in reports of online scams and human rights abuses (profiled here).

Pacific / Golden Phoenix Entertainment in the News


10 October: Ratcliffe, Rebecca, Nhung Nguyen, and Navaon Siradapuvadol. ‘Sold to Gangs, Forced to Run Online Scams: Inside Cambodia’s Cybercrime Crisis.’ The Guardian. Link.

Article on spread of cyber scam operations in Southeast Asia. Reporters talk with two Vietnamese nationals who were part of the escape from Pacific/Golden Phoenix.

2 September: Vinh, Tho and Duy Linh. ‘89 Vietnamese Victims of “Easy-job, High-pay” Scams Repatriated from Cambodia.’ Tuổi Trẻ News. Link.

Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports 89 Vietnamese citizens repatriated, including 11 from the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound.

2 September: ‘Authorities Repatriate Over 600 Citizens Lured to Work Illegally in Cambodia.’ Viet Nam News. Link.

Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Vietnam has worked with Cambodia authorities and coordinated to safely repatriate over 600 citizens who were tricked or lured to Cambodia for illegal work.

2 September: Jintamas, Saksornchai and Mech Dara. ‘40 Thais Removed from Kandal River-Escape Casino.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

Report on 59 Thais removed from scam compounds, including 40 from the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound.

1 September: Ngoc, Anh. ‘Easy Job, Easy Money: How Vietnamese Citizens are Trafficked in Cambodia.’ VnExpress. Link.

Vietnamese officials talk about the issue of trafficking into promised high-paying jobs in Cambodia, and the challenges of rescuing them.

31 August: Mech, Dara. ‘At Least 21 More Foreign Nationals Freed in Human Trafficking Raids.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

Report on rescue and repatriation of 21 Vietnamese trafficking victims, including 11 who were held at the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound.

26 August: ‘越公民冲出赌场事件 越南外交部:建议柬方尽早说明案情 [Vietnamese Citizens Rushed Out of the Casino, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam: It is Recommended That the Cambodian Side Explains the Case As Soon As Possible].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

Vietnam’s foreign affairs minister urges Cambodia to investigate and resolve the situation at Pacific/Golden Phoenix.

26 August: ‘Six People Awarded for Helping People Escape Forced Labour in Cambodia.’ Viet Nam News. Link.

Six people from the southern province of An Giang in Vietnam awarded Certificates of Merit for rescuing 40 Vietnamese nationals escaping from forced labour at Pacific/Golden Phoenix.

25 August: Vu, Anh. ‘Cambodia to Repatriate 25 Tricked Vietnamese Workers.’ VnExpress. Link.

Cambodia completes procedures for repatriation of 25 Vietnamese citizens tricked into work in Cambodia, including 11 tricked into working for Pacific/Golden Phoenix, according to Vietnam’s foreign ministry.

25 August: ‘“Hell 4.0”: Exploited Vietnamese Workers Escape Cambodia, Implicate Compatriots.’ Tuổi Trẻ News. Link.

Vietnamese media meets and gathers testimony from escapees of the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound.

24 August: Hong, Chieu and Ngoc Tai. ‘Difficult to Rescue Illegal Emigrants from Cambodia: Police.’ VnExpress. Link.

Thousands of Vietnamese could have been smuggled to Cambodia to be exploited and rescuing them would be difficult, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security.

24 August: Soth, Koemsoeun. ‘Chinese Manager of Kandal Casino Under Arrest.’ Khmer Times. Link.

Immigration Department spokesman says Chinese manager of Pacific/Golden Phoenix detained and investigation in progress, while police prepare request to the Ministry of Interior to deport 11 Vietnamese workers from Cambodia.

23 August: Ngoc, Tai. ‘Samaritans Deliver Vietnamese Escapees from Cambodian Casino to Safety.’ VnExpress. Link.

Account of local Vietnamese citizens rescuing escapees from Bing Di River after fleeing the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound.

23 August: Ngoc, Tai and Huy Phong. ‘Four Human Trafficking Rings Identified After 42 Vietnamese Escape Cambodia Casino.’ VnExpress. Link.

Vietnamese police identify four human trafficking rings involved in the smuggling of 42 Vietnamese who escaped from Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound.

22 August: Soth, Koemsoeun. ‘The Escape of 42 Vietnamese From a Casino Shows There Is More to the “Slavery” Issue and it is Tarnishing Cambodia’s Image.’ Khmer Times. Link.

Cambodian media reflects on the reputational damage caused by the Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound escape.

22 August: Mech, Dara and Danielle Keeton-Olsen. ‘Missing Body Found, One Worker Sent to Immigration in Kandal Casino Escape.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

Reports of the body of a 16-year-old boy being found after attempt to escape Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound days before.

22 August: ‘冲出赌场事件!越警捕2蛇头 越外交部要求柬当局调查事件原因 [Rush Casino Escape Event! Vietnamese Police Arrest Two Smugglers, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Asks Cambodian Authorities to Investigate the Cause of the Incident].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

Two Vietnamese arrested for tricking Vietnamese citizens into working for Pacific/Golden Phoenix.

21 August: Hong, Hanh. ‘Cambodia Arrests Chinese Manager at Casino from Where 42 Vietnamese Fled.’ VnExpress. Link.

The Chinese manager at Pacific/Golden Phoenix detained and admits ‘forced labour’ practices.

21 August: Lay, Samean. ‘Cambodia, VN Police Team Up on Casino Case.’ Phnom Penh Post. Link.

Cambodian police cooperating with Vietnamese counterparts to search for more than 40 Vietnamese staffers who broke through a door to escape from Pacific/Golden Phoenix.

20 August: ‘大批受困人员冲出赌场事件 越媒:16岁越南小伙溺毙 [A Large Number of Trapped People Rushed Out of the Casino, Vietnamese Media: 16-Year-Old Vietnamese Boy Drowned].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

After ‘riot’ broke out at Pacific/Golden Phoenix, a large number of Vietnamese rushed out of the casino. One of them, a 16-year-old Vietnamese boy, was swept away by the water when he jumped into the river and was confirmed to have drowned.

20 August: Ngoc, Tai. ‘Teenage Escapee from Cambodian Casino Found Dead.’ VnExpress. Link.

The body of a 16-year-old boy, part of a group of 42 people escaping from Pacific/Golden Phoenix was found in a river in An Giang’s An Phu District.

20 August: ‘Body of One Among Vietnamese Casino Worker Group Escaping Cambodia for Vietnam Found in River.’ Tuổi Trẻ News. Link.

The body of one of 41 Vietnamese people who swam across a border river to return to Vietnam’s southwestern An Giang Province after fleeing Pacific/Golden Phoenix in Cambodia has been found on the river, local authorities reported.

19 August: ‘柬埔寨赌场员工跳河逃跑事件,省长:为劳资纠纷 [Cambodian Casino Employees Jumped into the River to Escape, Governor: Caused by Labour Disputes].’ 环球博讯 [World Gaming Information]. Link.

Provincial government initial investigation finds workers fled Pacific/Golden Phoenix due to employment dispute.

19 August: AFP. ‘Dozens of Casino Workers Flee Cambodia by Swimming to Vietnam.’ South China Morning Post. Link.

About 40 staff at the Pacific/Golden Phoenix in Kandal province fought off security guards to escape compound and jumped into river, one was swept away by the current.

19 August: AFP. ‘Casino Workers Flee Cambodia by Swimming to Vietnam.’ Bangkok Post. Link.

Dozens of Vietnamese Pacific/Golden Phoenix workers allegedly forced to toil without pay in Cambodia have fled back to their homeland by swimming across a river.

19 August: Ngoc, Tai. ‘Exploitation, Misery Drove Vietnamese Workers to Flee Hellish Cambodian Casinos.’ VnExpress. Link.

Survivors of the escape from Pacific/Golden Phoenix tell their stories to VnExpress.

19 August: ‘Vietnamese Laborers Flee Casino in Cambodia, Cross River into Vietnam Over Overwork, Unpaid Salaries.’ Tuổi Trẻ News. Link.

Forty-one Vietnamese citizens escaped Pacific/Golden Phoenix in Cambodia and swam across a river to return to Vietnam due to overwork, unpaid salaries, according to a police chief in An Giang Province.

19 August: ‘大批受困人员冲出赌场事件 一名中国主管被扣 [Chinese Executive Detained After a Large Number of Trapped People Rushed Out of the Casino].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

Interior Minister speaks on the Pacific/Golden Phoenix escape, while provincial government convenes emergency meeting.

19 August: ‘大批受困人员冲出赌场事件 警方连夜进入赌场调查 但至今未公开案情 [Large Number of Trapped People Rushed Out of the Casino, the Police Entered the Casino Overnight to Investigate, But Results Not Yet Disclosed].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

A ‘riot’ broke out at Pacific/Golden Phoenix on the Cambodia-Vietnam border, and a large number of Vietnamese and Chinese employees rushed out of the casino, some jumping into the river to avoid capture.

19 August: Mech, Dara and Danielle Keeton-Olsen. ‘Dramatic Escape at Koh Thom Casino Triggers Gov’t Denial.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

In an apparent mass escape, dozens of people rushed through the gates of Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound in Kandal’s Koh Thom District, jumped into the Binh Di river and swam to Vietnam. 

19 August: ‘赌场员工出逃事件:警长和移民局官员连夜抵达赌场 [Casino Employee Flight: Police and Immigration Officers Arrive at Casino Overnight].’ Tnaot. Link.

Video footage emerges of workers from Pacific/Golden Phoenix fleeing the compound and jumping into the river.

19 August: Khuon, Narim and Seoung Nimol. ‘Mystery Surrounds Video of Vietnamese Workers Fleeing Casino.’ CamboJA. Link.

Police have detained the manager of Pacific/Golden Phoenix in Kandal province for questioning after video footage showed dozens of Vietnamese workers fleeing the building, raising concerns about human trafficking or forced labour.

19 August: ‘财通越南人暴走后续 [Chrey Thom Vietnamese Runaway Follow-Up].’ Westport Diary. Link.

Dozens of Vietnamese from Chrey Thom compound rushed out of a casino and ran away, causing a sensation in Cambodia.

18 August: ‘ជនជាតិចិន​-វៀតណាម​ នាំគ្នារត់ចេញពីកាស៊ីណូ​ប៉ាស៊ីហ្វិច​ [Chinese-Vietnamese Run Away from Pacific Casino].’ SH News 24h. Link.

Local media posts video of large group of workers fleeing Pacific/Golden Phoenix compound pursued by armed security.

18 August: ‘បុគ្គលិកជនជាតិវៀតណាម បុកទម្លុះរបងកាស៊ីណូ Golden Phoenix Entertainment នៅជ្រៃធំ [Vietnamese Staff Break Through the Fence of Golden Phoenix Entertainment Casino in Chrey Thom].’ Fresh News. Link.

A video shows a group of Vietnamese immigrants who broke through the gates and clashed with the security guards of Pacific/Golden Phoenix in Chrey Thom Commune, Koh Thom District, Kandal Province on the evening of the 18th.

18 August: ‘柬越边境一赌场发生暴动 大批职员冲出赌场 疑遭非法拘禁 [A Riot Broke Out in a Casino on the Cambodia-Vietnam Border: A Large Number of Staff Rushed Out of the Casino and Were Suspected of Being Illegally Detained].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

A ‘riot’ broke out at Pacific/Golden Phoenix in Kandal province on the Cambodia-Vietnamese border. A large number of Vietnamese employees rushed out of the casino, and some jumped into a river to avoid capture.

18 August: Ngoc, Tai. ‘40 People Swim to Vietnam After Escaping From Cambodian Casino.’ VnExpress. Link.

Forty people swam across a river from Cambodia into Vietnam and said they had escaped ill-treatment by their employer, border guards in An Giang Province reported Thursday.

18 August: Sam, Sith. ‘Update ៖ បុគ្គលិកកាស៊ី ណូតៃភីងយ៉ាង ៥០ទៅ៦០នាក់ជាជនជាតិវៀតណាមបាននាំគ្នាសម្រុករត់ចេញក្រៅដោយពុំដឹងមូលហេតុ [Update: 50 to 60 Vietnamese Taiping Casino Employees Rushed Out for Unknown Reasons].’ Nokor Dragon News. Link.

A shocking incident occurred when 50 to 60 online casino staff rushed out of the Pacific/Golden Phoenix and swam across the Cambodian-Vietnamese border in Chrey Thom Village, Koh Thom District, Kandal Province.


11 December: ‘柬埔寨一园区疑遭“禁锢”的中国男子被警方解救 [A Chinese Man Suspected of Being “Imprisoned” in a Cambodian Park Was Rescued by the Police].’ 环球博讯 [World Gaming Information]. Link.

Police in Kandal Province, Cambodia, rescued a Chinese man who was suspected of being ‘imprisoned’ in a fraud park, located on the Cambodia-Vietnam border, but the police have not yet arrested any suspects.

8 July: ‘中柬警方再传捷报,7名中国网投受害人获救 [The Chinese and Cambodian Police Reported More Good News, and Seven Victims of Chinese Online Gambling Were Rescued].’ 环球博讯 [World Gaming Information]. Link.

Reporter receives information from various channels that the Chinese and Cambodian police cooperated and rescued seven Chinese victims from online investment operation in Kandal and Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

Our content is published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Read our Privacy & Cookie Policy.