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‘Bride brokers’ busted

Two Chinese nationals and three Cambodian women stand at the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection unit in Phnom Penh
Two Chinese nationals and three Cambodian women stand at the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection unit in Phnom Penh on Sunday after being detained by police. PHOTO SUPPLIED

‘Bride brokers’ busted

Two Chinese nationals and three Cambodian women were sent to court yesterday after they were arrested on Sunday, accused of trying to sell two Cambodian women as brides in China, anti-trafficking police said. In what police say is the latest example of women being lured to China for illegal purposes, police arrested one of the alleged brokers at Phnom Penh International Airport as he prepared to board a flight with the two victims.

“Police rescued two Cambodian women at the airport and arrested one Chinese broker there,” said Keo Thea, chief of Phnom Penh’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection unit.

Thea identified the alleged Chinese brokers, both men, as Xujinlong, 34, and Suzhisheng, 40, and the arrested Cambodian women as Sok Bora, 25, Sat Srey Laut, 25, and Lam Lana, 45.

All five have been charged with human trafficking.

The two victims, he added, were women from a provincial area who were yesterday awaiting their families to come and take them home.

“We appeal to all families in the provinces: Do not believe brokers who promise to help you marry. This is not the first time brokers have cheated women seeking to be married in China,” Thea warned.

In the past year, the Post has reported other cases of police swooping down on brokers at the airport and families contacting NGOs for help having family members returned home from China after they were abused or forced into domestic or sex slavery.

In response to a growing number of such reports, Pol Pithey, chief of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, said in December that authorities were trying to address what was becoming a “big problem”.

“Our people are still being cheated, because they lack knowledge about what it is they are entering into – while others know, but they take the risk anyway,” he said.

Lim Mony, deputy head of the women’s section at rights group ADHOC, said Cambodians faced a number of risks when signing up with marriage brokers, especially if information available to them was limited.

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