Three Cambodian women and two Chinese men were charged in court yesterday over allegations they brought seven young women from provincial areas to Phnom Penh in preparation to send them to China to be married.
Kong Sam Sareth, a prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said the prosecution was pursuing charges under the Kingdom’s anti-human trafficking law of attempting to sell, buy or exchange a person for cross-border transfer and faking or providing dishonest documents.
“They have now been sent to Prey Sar prison,” Sam Sareth said.
The five were detained for questioning after police raided a rental property in the capital’s Tuol Kork district on Saturday.
In that raid, seven women, aged 20 to 27, from provinces including Kampong Cham, Kandal and Prey Veng were freed, said Lieutenant Colonel Keo Thea, chief of the municipal anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection unit.
“They were human-trafficking brokers,” he said. “They have brought Cambodian girls from provinces to keep at their rental house in Phnom Penh in order to send them to marry men in China.
“They were arrested . . . while preparing to send the victims to China on a direct flight from Phnom Penh International Airport,” he said, adding that passports were found during the raid.
Police, he added, had brought the five in for questioning, first believing only three were involved in the trafficking and that two of the Cambodian women were just cleaning and cooking for the others.
Sam Sareth said those charged were Chinese nationals Wang Houguo, 40, and Ly Lixiqing 32, as well as Cambodians Chhun Lida, 27, Sok Khim, 59, and 57-year-old Douy Samoun.
If they are found guilty, Thea said, they could each face more than seven years in prison.
The case follows a string of reports of Chinese men allegedly abusing Cambodian women sent to China for employment or marriage.
On Monday, four parents complained to police in Kampong Cham province that their daughters were being sexually abused by their husbands in China.