The trial of a 36-year-old massage shop owner accused of running a brothel in Chak Angre Loeu commune began yesterday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Presiding Judge Ly Sok Leng identified the accused as Kong Kalyan, the owner of K666 Massage Shop in Meanchey district. The accused was charged with procurement with aggravating circumstances.
Judge Sok Leng said the accused was arrested in July last year after anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police officers raided her shop.
Major Sok Rath, deputy chief of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, yesterday said the raid was conducted after a month-long investigation into activities at the accused’s massage shop.
“She was the boss and the owner of the K666 shop,” Maj Rath said during the trial. “She allowed the masseuses to have sex with clients for up to $20 per session. She kept up to $5 from each client for herself.”
The accused denied the allegations during the trial yesterday.
Ms Kalyan said she was not the owner and was only working at the shop. She noted that the shop was owned by a man who went by the name Heng, who is at large.
She said that Mr Heng did not live near the shop and only stopped by to collect earnings.
“I have acknowledged that I was receiving money from other masseuses on behalf of Mr Heng, but I was not the one who gave them permission to have sex with clients,” she said. “They did it themselves. I have never received or taken money from them.”
The accused asked the court to drop all charges and release her.
Judge Sok Leng said Mr Heng is still at large and police are having difficulty identifying the suspect.
A verdict is due early next month.