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‘Traffickers’ nabbed in sweep at airports

Several marriage brokers suspected of human trafficking have been arrested while en route to China in a sweep by anti-trafficking police on two airports.

Three brokers were arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday, police said, following the arrest of two suspected traffickers from the same gang on Sunday at Siem Reap airport.

Keo Thea, chief of Phnom Penh’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, said the brokers arrested yesterday were preparing to board a flight to China with four women, who were to be married off to Chinese clients, when they were apprehended.

“They kept the women for a few months before preparing to fly to China,” he said. “Chinese men like [Khmer women], so they lure the victims with promises of money when they arrive in China.”

The victims were identified as factory workers from Phnom Penh and Kampong Cham province. The alleged brokers – Mok Heang Rithy, 31, Taing Saroeun, 46, and I Loa, 65 – are due to appear in court today.

“I appeal to all Khmer women thoughout the country: please do not trust brokers to find marriage abroad illegally, because it is very risky,” Thea said.

Two women were also rescued from brokers in Siem Reap on Sunday, authorities said.

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