Seventy-two women and nine supervisors working at a karaoke parlour in Siem Reap town were arrested in a raid on Tuesday under suspicion of prostitution and illegal sex trafficking, police officials said yesterday.
Siem Reap provincial police chief Suot Nady said the operation to arrest girls working at the karaoke club Wonder was conducted by expert authorities in cooperation with provincial court prosecutors.
“It is so illegal that the parlour owner who has a license for operating karaoke but he runs his business on sexual service and sex trafficking,” said Suot Nady.
“[There were] rooms for having sex as well when local authorities searched.”
Sun Bunthorn, chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection bureau, said that 12 of the women were under the age of 18 and three were Vietnamese.
“This is the fourth case of cracking down on sex trafficking in early 2011 in Siem Reap province,” said Sun Bunthorn.
He added that the supervisors and the club owner were suspected of taking advantage of the women.
Sun Bunthorn said that the women would be questioned by provincial police and handed over to the provincial department of social affairs, while the supervisors would be interrogated and a report sent to the provincial court.
Suot Nady said that the raid was the biggest crackdown on sexual exploitation in Siem Reap province so far this year following a similar raid on a club in Siem Reap town last year.