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Kidnapped girl found in Svay Rieng

A young girl, kidnapped from her home in Ratankkiri, has been reunited with her family a month after being allegedly abducted by an 18-year-old woman who took the girl to disguise a motorbike heist, police claim.

Police on Friday arrested 18-year-old Veuy Chouch who is accused of taking the 10-year-old girl from her mountain home in Andong Meas district.

According to Koy Pril, head of Ratanakkiri’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection office, on January 12, the girl’s family – who had helped Chouch get a job farming cassava – allowed her to borrow their motorbike and take their daughter on a trip to buy gloves.

However, instead of returning, Chouch allegedly fled, sold the motorbike for about $49 and took the daughter to stay with her relatives in Svay Rieng province before taking a job at a garment factory in Phnom Penh.

“She just needed the moto, but in order not to make the girl’s parents suspect that she wanted the moto, she decided to take the girl with her,” Pril said.

Too poor to care for the girl, Chouch’s relatives handed her to Svay Rieng’s Social Affairs Department, where she was found by police officials after an investigation supported by the Child Protection Unit.

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