PHNOM PENH, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has released 47 Malaysians held in the kingdom for allegedly involving in illegal online gambling, a Cambodian senior minister said on Saturday.
"The court decided to release them on bail yesterday (Feb. 15) and we handed over them to the Malaysian government already," Othsman Hassan, a senior minister in charge of the Islamic affairs, said at a press conference in northwestern Cambodia's Banteay Meanchey province.
He said an investigation found that they were duped by a job agency syndicate into conducting illegal online gambling activities.
"They are also victims," he said.
According to Hassan, the bail release was made in accordance with the Cambodian law and following a request from the Malaysian government.
He said a low-cost carrier AirAsia plane will arrange a charter fight to bring them home as soon as possible.
The 47 Malaysians, including 10 women, were arrested in Banteay Meanchey province's Poipet City, which borders Thailand, on Dec. 11 last year for allegedly running illegal online gambling operations.