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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court charges two in illegal detention case

Court charges two in illegal detention case

Court charges two in illegal detention case

KANDAL provincial court has charged two men with illegal detention following a raid on a recruitment firm in Kien Svay district, when authorities discovered 35 underage girls being trained to work as domestic servants in Malaysia.

Kandal provincial court deputy prosecutor Keo Socheat said yesterday that of the four suspects arrested during the raid, two – South Manith, 29, and Suo Reaksa, 24 – have been charged and detained pending further investigation. The remaining pair have been released.

“There are four suspects, but police have sent only two of them to the court. I have received the case, attached to the names of two persons. They were accused of human detention,” he said. “They have been detained in prison now.”

Keo Socheat did not provide a reason for the release of the remaining two suspects.

Lun Sophath, the provincial deputy police chief, declined to comment in detail, but said that Suo Sotheara, 24, and Seng Soly, 25, were questioned and then released after police determined that they were not involved in the illegal detention of the workers.

Sunday’s raid was triggered after villagers in Prek Eng commune reported seeing several girls detained in a nearby building. Under the 1995 sub-decree that permits authorised companies to train and send workers abroad, all prospective workers must be at least 18 years old.

Hem Bunny, director of the Department of Employment and Manpower at the Ministry of Labour, said he had heard of some cases in which authorities had charged illegal companies money and then exposed their activities when they did not pay.

He said that any labour firm that opens an office anywhere in the country must register with the provincial labour department and inform the authorities about the nature of its operations.

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