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Massage brothel busted

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has charged a woman accused of running a brothel out of her Tuol Kork district home, which doubles as a massage parlour.

Keo Thea, police chief of the municipal anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection bureau, said yesterday that the 53-year-old woman was charged with procuring prostitution on Saturday and detained at Prey Sar prison pending trial.

He said the woman was arrested following a raid on her property in Boeung Salang commune on Thursday, when police discovered four massage therapists who admitted that they had been selling sexual services and splitting the profits with the owner of the parlour.

“The [woman] operated the massage parlour. It is not wrong that she opened it, but there were sex services there,” he said.

Procuring prostitution – the definition of which includes drawing a financial profit from the prostitution of others – is illegal under Article 26 of the Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, which states that a conviction on charges of procurement is punishable by two to five years imprisonment.

Koeur Bunnara, deputy prosecutor at the Municipal Court, said yesterday that investigations were ongoing and a trial date had not been set.

Suon Chhoeung, deputy director of Phnom Penh Municipal Social Affairs Department, said police had sent the four women to the ministry, which would refer them to partner organisations offering support services.

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