Seven Chinese men were charged on Saturday with running illegal prostitution services from their massage shops.
Colonel Pen Kanha, chief of the Preah Sihanouk provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, said the seven were owners, managers and assistants at three Chinese massage shops in Sihanoukville.
They were charged by the prosecutor with procurement of prostitution and face two to five years each in jail if convicted.
Col Kanha said they were arrested on Thursday by department officers. They have been sent to prison pending their trial.
However, Col Kanha did not release their identities and declined to give details about the case.
Captain Lay Sokhun, a department police office, said that at about 12pm on Thursday, department and local police led by the court prosecutor raided three massage shops owned by the seven in a building named Phnom Khieu or Blue Mountain in Village 1 in the city.
Cap Sokhun said after the raids that police had investigated their shops and followed foreigners who often entered to buy sex services from the Chinese and Thai women there.
He said that after collecting the report and the proof, the department asked the prosecutor for authorisation to crack down and arrest the suspects.
“They operated illegal prostitution services in Preah Sihanouk province and this has affected our Cambodian culture,” Capt Sokhun said.
“They allowed the masseuses, who were employed by them, to have sex with clients for from $10 to $50 each time,” he added. “They were arrested after police raided their massage shops while masseuses were having sex with their clients in their rooms.”
Police caught the seven Chinese men, 12 Chinese masseuses, 15 Thai masseuses and four Chinese customers.
Police seized a guestbook, along with used and unused condoms.
He said the masseuses and the Chinese clients did not have proper documents to stay in Cambodia.
All had been sent to the general immigration department at the Interior Ministry in Phnom Penh to be deported to their countries.