Two human traffickers were sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday by Phnom Penh Municipal Court for trafficking 17 victims to China.
The two traffickers were identified as Inn Simanann, the director of the Institute for Professional Accounting Training, and Liu Wing Hing, who aided Mr Simanann. Both were arrested in January.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the International Justice Mission, the victims were forced to work in a garment factory under the false promise of university scholarships and vocational training.
IJM Cambodia’s director Peter Williams said the victims testified that the traffickers falsely promoted an opportunity for a bachelor’s degree and vocational training in professional fashion design through IPAT.
But instead, the victims were trafficked to China to work as garment factory workers. They were required to work seven days a week and received less than half of the initial promised wage.
The only education the victims received was in basic Chinese language. In addition, the victims were charged additional fees and were required to continue working when they were sick.
“Trafficking in persons takes many forms and often appears like a golden opportunity on the surface. These convictions are an indication of the Phnom Penh court’s ability to see past the appearance of respectability these traffickers create and recognise this enterprise for what it was: a criminal trafficking network,” Mr Williams said.
Mr Williams added that the court convicted both offenders for the crime of unlawful removal for cross-border transfer under article 11 of Cambodia’s Anti-Human Trafficking law.
The victims have been awarded compensation of $92,200.