Rochom Bit and his wife, Pouy Y Chat, both 32 and of Jarai ethnicity, left Vietnam for Cambodia in 2015 with their two daughters, Ratanakkiri deputy provincial police chief Chea Bunthoeun said.

Mr. Bunthoeun said he did not know the reasons why the family fled Vietnam’s Central Highlands. However, hundreds have traveled to Ratanakkiri since late 2014, complaining of widespread political and religious persecution at the hands of the Hanoi government.

Despite initially staying in Cambodia, the family went to Thailand so the parents could work but returned to Cambodia in recent weeks and requested the assistance of authorities to return to Vietnam, said the police chief.

“The couple returned from Thailand and stayed for a moment in Ratanakkiri province. They came to our authorities and they asked for help from us to send them back home,” said Mr. Bunthoeun.

He refuted a story published on the DAP News website on Thursday stating that the family was detained in a guest-house in Banlung City before being questioned and deported.

“The family came to communicate with our authorities and we compromised to accompany them to return to Vietnam through O’yadaw Border International Checkpoint,” he said.

By Aun Pheap - The Cambodia Daily - August 25, 2017