Thursday, March 21

S’wakian ex-detainees reunited with family members

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One of the Sarawakian ex-detainees embraces his family members upon touching down at Kuching International Airport. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

A family member embraces a Sarawakian ex-detainee who were among the 40 Sarawakians brought back by a Sarawak government delegation. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: The 40 Sarawakian ex-detainees had a touching reunion with their family members at the VIP arrival lounge of the Kuching International Airport at around 2.30pm today.

They cried tears of joy upon seeing and hugging their families members.

Accompanying them on the flight back was Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah who led the Sarawak government delegation to help secure the release of the Sarawakians who were detained at the Banteay Manchey Provincial Prison near Siem Reap.

There were 49 people on board the chartered flight including three ex-detainees from Sabah. The flight left the Siam Reap International Airport at 10.35am. The flight took two hours 20 minutes.

The ex-detainees from Sibu will take another flight back tomorrow while those from Sabah will be flying back tonight.

Also on the flight was Santubong MP Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who was also a member of the Sarawak government delegation.

The 40 Sarawakians were part of the 47 Malaysians who were detained at the Banteay Manchey Provincial Prison near Siem Reap since Dec 11 last year but were released at 6.30pm (Cambodian time) on Friday (Feb 15) after investigations revealed they were duped by a human trafficking syndicate.