Accused human traffickers deny charges

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

A group of four Cambodians accused of attempting to traffic women to China to marry Chinese men yesterday denied the charges at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Bun Hour, 55, her son Khim Chantrea, 29, and her elder sister Khim Sim, 57, were arrested along with Chan Sokkhim 39, in July 2016, accused of “unlawful recruitment for exploitation” over their attempt to marry off four Cambodian women, aged 17 to 28, from Kampong Thom province.
Keath Ny, 28, one of the victims, told the court yesterday that the accused group promised her a job in Singapore making $500 per month as a garment worker.
“To make money to support my poor family, I and my other three sisters accepted,” said Ms Ny.
But the victims were first brought to Vietnam, then Myanmar, then back to Vietnam before learning the truth, Ms Ny added.
“We were told by the accused that we would continue the flight directly from Vietnam to China,” Ms Ny testified. “They said that we would go to marry Chinese men in China.”
Ms Ny said that after learning the truth, she and her sisters fled back to Cambodia on June 29, after which they filed a complaint against the accused.
Keath Nay, 23, another victim, said despite receiving $2,000 compensation from the accused, she wished to see the group punished.
“They are not human beings because they wanted to sell all of us like animals,” she told the court. 
“To find the truth and justice, I would like to ask the court to strongly punish them so that they cannot commit such crimes against others.”
The four accused denied the charges during yesterday’s trial and blamed to an unknown man named Vanna.
Ms Sokkhim claimed their work was on behalf of a recruitment agency and claimed ignorance of the plan to marry the victims off in China.
“I recruited them for Mr Vanna for travelling to work in Singapore,” said Ms Sokkhim.   “I did not know that the victims were to be sent for marriage in China.”
According to court documents, a man named Mr Vanna was not charged because he does not exist.
A verdict is due on Friday of next week. The accused face between seven and 15 years in prison if convicted.

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