Six women were tried by Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday over allegations of trafficking three Cambodian girls into forced marriages in China on false premises of employment in Singapore.
According to presiding judge Svay Tonh, the girls, aged 18 to 22, were lured from families in Kratie province by offers of work in beauty salons in Singapore with salaries of $800 to $1,000 per month.
“But when the victims agreed to work as advertised, they . . . sent them to China to marry husbands there,” he said.
Tonh identified the suspects as Hong Chea, Ol Yong, Bouy Samon and Kert Phuon, who were arrested and detained in Phnom Penh, while Bouy Savun and Yaing Samean remain at large after fleeing to China where they have family. If found guilty, the suspects will face prison terms of seven to 15 years.
One victim testified that in January, the suspects met with her parents at their family home, claiming that they had connections to Cambodians working in Singapore.
“I accepted and decided to travel for work in Singapore because I expected to earn money to support my poor family,” she said. She has demanded $5,000 in compensation.
The four defendants confessed to the allegations but asked for a reduction in their sentences, claiming they were told by an unidentified man that they would be paid $100 commission for each bride they brought to China.