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Couple that ‘bought’ girl faces court

The trial of a Cambodian couple accused of trafficking young and elderly Cambodians, including a baby, to Malaysia to glean money begging began yesterday.

Heng Chhon, 48, and his wife Sam Nang, 38, face charges of selling, buying or exchanging a person and violating Article 16 of the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation law.

“They bought a 7-month-old baby girl for $400 from her poor family to [use] as their adopted daughter so they could bring her to Malaysia to earn money from begging,” said Taing Sun Lay, a judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“They were beggars and have had up to seven children in the family,” Taing Sun Lay, a judge at the court, said.

Keo Thea, chief of the municipal Anti-human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit, said that when the couple was arrested last November, authorities rescued the baby along with three children and three elderly Cambodians. The verdict is due on July 25.

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