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Cambodia Prepares To Deport ‘Mafia’ Suspects

The Cambodian government is prepared to deport 187 Chinese nationals that were swept up in a raid earlier this week.

Officials at the Ministry of Interior said Friday Cambodia was cooperating with China’s Ministry of Public Security to return the group, which it characterized as part of a “mafia.”

In all, about 500 people were arrested in a raid in the the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk, including nationals from Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Authorities say they were operating an extortion racket and that police had confiscated Internet phone and other equipment the group used to collect money.

Kuort Chantharith, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the Chinese would be exported “as soon as possible” under immigration laws and “good cooperation” with the Chinese government.