Anti-human trafficking police yesterday arrested six suspected traffickers who were in the process of arranging for three Cambodian women to be flown to China to marry local men, a court official said yesterday.
The suspects included three Cambodian nationals: Ky Chheang Ang, 57, and his wife Srey Hour, 60, from Phnom Penh, and Im Iem, 60, who connected the women from Takeo province with Chinese brokers.
Three Chinese traffickers, who the court official named as Cau Wuhua, 42, Yu Yinhong, 39, and Li Hong Lin, 24, were also arrested.
Sieng Sok, a deputy prosecutor at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said yesterday that the six suspects were being questioned after a raid on two guesthouses in the capital uncovered the arrangement.
Chum Sounry, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, said that using brokers to seek work or marriage in China carried a “high risk of human trafficking”.
In the first eight months of the year, the ministry had repatriated 69 Cambodian women who had moved to China for marriage or been trafficked there by brokers, he added.
A statement from the Foreign Ministry yesterday said that while it could not prohibit women to move to China for marriage under the constitution, it took every opportunity to educate women of the risks.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot prohibit them, because it’s the right of all Cambodian people, as written in the constitution,” the statement reads.
Sounry said that women seeking to move abroad to get married should “sign contracts” with the ministry to ensure their safety. “We receive so many complaints from victims being trafficked to China through brokers,” he added.