Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a husband and wife who allegedly tricked three women into becoming sex workers in China early this year.
Brigadier General Nhem Sao Nol, deputy anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department chief at the Interior Ministry, identified the accused as Chhin Leang and his wife Ouk Chanthou, both 32 and living in the city’s Chbar Ampov district.
He noted that they were arrested at their house in the district’s Niroth commune at about 5.30pm on Monday after arrest warrants were issued against them.
Brig Gen Sao Nol said both are now in jail pending their trial, but declined to give details on the case.
Major Suth Sopheak, an anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police officer, said that complaints by the three victims, aged 21, 23, and 25, showed that between January and February the couple convinced them to follow an unidentified broker to China to get married.
He noted that all three victims were living in Kandal province and were paid $3,000 each by the broker to cover their travel expenditures, including visas and flight tickets.
“But after the victims arrived in Beijing, they were sold to become sex workers and masseuses at a karaoke club there,” Maj Sopheak said. “The owner withheld their passports and forced them to have sex with clients without pay.”
He noted that in August, the three victims managed to flee from the club and took a taxi to the Cambodian embassy which repatriated them to their homes in mid-September.
Maj Sopheak noted that after arriving home, they reported their ordeal to the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department and police located and arrested the accused.