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HANOI, Sept 30 ― Seven bodies have been found washed ashore on a beach in southern Vietnam, authorities said today, a week after a boat with more than 40 people on board sank off the neighbouring Cambodian coastal town of Sihanoukville.

The bodies found on a beach on Phu Quoc Island, which straddles the border area between the countries, Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security said in a news release. Two of the bodies were carrying Chinese papers in their pockets, it said.

Cambodian authorities said the boat sank early on Thursday last week, with 30 survivors rescued by Cambodian and Vietnamese authorities.

“The bodies found were suspected to be related to the sunken boat,” the ministry said.

Cambodia is a popular destinations for tourists and business people from China, but many Chinese have been unable to travel in the past few years because of Chinese Covid-19 restrictions.

One of the survivors, 27-year-old Chengui Sheng from China’s Fujian province, last week told Cambodian authorities the boat had been carrying 41 people.

Khieu Sopheak, a spokesman at Cambodia’s Interior Ministry, said authorities had launched a human trafficking case after the sinking and six people had been arrested.

The official did not specify why authorities believed the people on the boat were being trafficked. ― Reuters

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