POLICE in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district on Monday raided four businesses accused of selling pornographic mobile-phone content and transferring pornographic film clips and photographs to customers’ phones.
Saing Sopheakvicheth, deputy governor of Tuol Kork district, said Tuesday that the crackdown was necessary because selling pornographic content is illegal, adding that “this kind of business practice strongly affects Cambodian society”.
He added that an investigation of more than 30 vendors selling mobile-phone content in Tuol Kork district uncovered at least seven offering pornographic content to customers, including the four vendors targeted in Monday’s crackdown, who were arrested and sent to court.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Sok Roeun said the vendors, if charged and convicted, face jail terms of between one and five years. He also said that people caught purchasing pornographic content could be fined between 30,000 to 50,000 riels (about US$12).
Monday’s arrests continue a recent government emphasis on curbing vice, which has led to a series of raids on karaoke bars, massage parlours, brothels and cafes.
Am Sam Ath, senior monitor for the rights group Licadho, said Tuesday that he welcomed the arrests, and that the proliferation of pornography could lead to an increase in cases of human trafficking and rape.