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Maid firm sentences suspended

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced in absentia director Nhek Sothear and receptionist Srun Sotheary of maid recruitment firm SKMM Company to four years in prison each on charges of illegal detention, but suspended their sentences, said Judge Suos Som Art.

Som Art also reduced the three-year sentences of non-managerial employees Nhor Kimseng; a chef, Pern Seoun, a security guard; and Chren Chrai, a tuk-tuk driver, to 17 months each, releasing them on time served – though they had actually served more than 27 months.

For their parts, Kimseng and Soeun professed their ignorance of the company’s workings, with Soeun maintaining he had worked at SKMM less than a month, and “never been inside”.

Chrai said he had no connection to the company, but Judge Ly Libmeng asserted that he lived on company grounds.

Thorn Thanith, the police officer who led the raid, said there had been 30 to 40 women being held behind a locked door, but they were allowed to leave if they got permission, or were visiting their relatives.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lieng Sarith at sarith.lieng@phnompenhpost.com

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